Entrepreneurs, especially women in Bangladesh, face various business challenges, including lack of access to credit, entrepreneurial experience, marketing opportunities, skills required and non-cooperation of wholesalers and others. obstacles in the supply chain ecosystem.
According to experts, access to credit is one of the biggest obstacles for women entrepreneurs, but different studies have shown that women are very sincere when it comes to paying their financial obligations.
Typically, when an entrepreneur applies for a loan or credit facility from a commercial bank or financial institution, the loan officer requires a multitude of documents, including information about the property, business. and the guarantor. The information sought and the documents required by a loan officer are of crucial importance in ensuring credit discipline.
In Bangladesh, traditionally, women entrepreneurs start their businesses with their own savings, borrowing from relatives rather than taking out loans from a bank or financial institution. Research shows that the lack of proper business or ownership documents is a major barrier to accessing credit for women.
Although the government has taken several initiatives and comprehensive action plans for female entrepreneurship to thrive and contribute to GDP, women entrepreneurs take out loans on behalf of their husbands, brothers or other family members and loans are misused. As a result, financial institutions are reluctant to extend credit to female clients.
Several governmental and non-governmental organizations have facilitated different online and offline training programs where women entrepreneurs have the opportunity to learn different aspects of business and financial management. Due to the lack of one-stop-shop platform and comprehensive collaboration between relevant authorities, there is confusion and lack of awareness among entrepreneurs.
They do not find banks and their wide range of services feasible enough to meet their personal and professional needs. Most entrepreneurs don’t understand that every bank has its own credit policy to ensure that asset quality is maintained.
Banks deal with depositors’ money and they are accountable for their actions to hosts of other stakeholders, including owners, regulators and shareholders. In order to make women entrepreneurs bankable, a comprehensive and collective approach must be taken to educate and raise awareness, so that banks or financial institutions can easily extend credit to deserving businesswomen.
Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) still believes in empowering women and has designed products and services to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. To help women entrepreneurs develop their business, EBL Women Banking offers a wide range of financing facilities ranging from personal loans to business loans, including loans to SMEs where you can get a loan of up to Tk 2 crore without no guarantee. One of their loan products focused on women entrepreneurs, “Mukti”, is aimed exclusively at women.
EBL offers a unique wholesale loan product which is one of the highest in the industry called “Utkorsho”, an unsecured loan of up to Tk 2 crore. A pioneer in offering tailor-made credit products, EBL Women Banking offers a unique range of products called Asha, Udoy, Agrim and Nobodoy to name a few. In addition to this, there are other products like Cash Credit (CC), Business Solution, E-cash, Utpadon, Uddipon. Uddipon loan product meets the requirements of commercial space owners, CC loan serves entrepreneurs with a credit facility within approved limits. There are Krishi and Projukti loans for entrepreneurs interested in agro-business.
Thanks to a varied and extensive product basket and superior customer and banking services, EBL is committed to building strong relationships with the country’s clients and entrepreneurs and wishes to be a partner in the growth of the country’s development.
Interested customers can find them on their new website https://ebl.com.bd/retail/Femmes-Banking and leave their banking request with someone to get in touch with them or go to one of the EBL branches where their dedicated relationship manager will take care of the client’s banking needs.
Photo: Eastern Bank Limited (EBL)