Improving opportunities for SMEs in Bangladesh-challenges and prospect identified with a eeference to BRAC Bank services
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This report aims toward providing an overview of the challenges and prospects of SMEs in Bangladesh and functions of SME Divisions of BRAC Bank Ltd. While preparing this report, it has been attempted to disclose the insights of the overall operation of the bank in relation to SMEs. In addition, a few recommendations and suggestions were also prescribed based on the observation and findings. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can help to alleviate poverty to a satisfactory level by eliminating various prejudices against labor intensive industry and creating jobs for the skilled and semi-skilled manpower in the SME sector. However, the access to financing is still recognized as the leading obstacle to SME growth in Bangladesh, alike most other developing and under-developed countries. Small and medium enterprises have tremendous opportunities in empowering potential entrepreneurs and transforming society for higher economic growth. To target this sector BRAC Bank Ltd has introduced SME Banking Division in 2001. BRAC Bank SME division was set up to capture “Missing Middle” and to create socio-economic impact in the country. Within 11 years of establishing it has proved its success through becoming country’s largest SME finance provider and 4th large SME provider in the world in terms of lending volume. This report focuses on the idea of providing a synopsis on the SME financing scenario in Bangladesh, challenges faced, prospects identified and related services offered by the BRAC Bank Ltd. Analyzing the SME scenario in Bangladesh and assessing the performance of BRAC Bank Ltd. in the context of highly competitive market, this report attempts to come up with set of recommendations for further consideration. Along with that the report will justify how SME is contributing in socio-economic development of the country and deserves new improved opportunities.