The first three-day SME Banking RoadShow that started on September 15 (Thursday) provided little opportunity to the entrepreneurs who want to start a new venture or seek loan for running their businesses, said the visitors Saturday, reports BDNEWS.
"I have come to know about the procedures to get loans for expanding my businesses on tourism. However, none of the banks that participated in the fair provide loans in this area," said Faisal Ahmed, chief executive officer (CEO) of South Asian Tourism and a visitor to the show.
The show 'SME Banking RoadShow-2005' was organised by the SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel to disseminate information about how the small and medium entrepreneurs can get loans easily from banks and other financial institutions. The organisers also conducted trainings for SMEs in the programme.
Faisal said banks and financial institutions should provide loans in tourism sector for encouraging new entrepreneurs.
"They should keep provisions for new entrepreneurs, those who want to start a new venture," he said, adding, "but the banks are giving loans to those who have a running business and have a minimum two-year experience."
"Where will the new entrepreneurs go if the banks do not provide them loan?" questioned Faisal.
Replying to a query, he said banks can provide loans to potential new investors on the basis of project proposal and its feasibility. Besides, references from reputed businessmen may be considered, he added.
Abu Sayeed Shamim, managing director of Syndicate Computers & Technical Institution, said higher interest rate charged by the banks will not encourage new entrepreneurs.
The Arab Bangladesh Bank Ltd, the Bank Asia Ltd, the Brac Bank Ltd, the Dhaka Bank Ltd, the Eastern Bank Ltd, the Prime Bank Ltd, The City Bank Ltd, the Industrial Development Leasing Company (IDLC) Bangladesh Ltd and the United Leasing Company Ltd are showcasing their packages for SME financing in the fair.
They are offering loans from Tk 0.1 million to Tk 100 million in manufacturing, trading and service sectors. A number of banks are also providing loans for agro-based industries.
Asked, Mohammad Abu Kausar, senior officer of SME unit of the Dhaka Bank said, "We are not entertaining new investors." He said the bank prefers those entrepreneurs who have a running business.
Brac Bank customer relation officer Jayanta Roy said, "The bank is now providing loans for running businesses."
Asked, SEDF Knowledge Centre Associate Maum Anwar said, "The fair was aimed at building a contact between the SME entrepreneurs and financer banks to boost up investment in the sector."
He said the SEDF would organise similar roadshows in Sylhet, Chittagong, Khulna and Bogra.
Nearly 2,500 visitors visited the fair while over four hundred participants received training, he said.