The launching of the first ever Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) toolkit pilot project by the United Nations Global Contact (UNGC) in partnership with local banks and other development partners could not have been timelier and more to the point. The UN body partnered with international bodies like the ILO and UNICEF and local partners like the BRAC Bank, Global Compact Network for Bangladesh (GCNB) and DBL Group with the professed aim of sustainability of SME business in the country. A SME Sustainability Day was observed last Monday, the first time in Bangladesh, thereby bringing to the fore SME affairs and their importance in the economy. Be it job creation or business propagation, SMEs hold a key to the advancement of the country's economy. The presence of the principal coordinator of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Affairs of the Prime Minister's Office added importance to the occasion and underlined the government's special care for SMEs.
The newly introduced tool kit exercise is a laudable initiative for boosting SME effort. The fact that there are six million SMEs in Bangladesh accounting for 75 per cent of the domestic economy and employing 30 per cent of the domestic workforce and contributing to more than 20 per cent of the GDP makes a strong case for providing impetus to the SME drive. Every bank has a SME special desk. On top it, the Bangladesh Bank pays special attention to the issue. One of its past governors had earned fame as a SME Governor. Now the introduction of the toolkit is expected to enable the valued SME clients to link sustainability with a more enabling work atmosphere and help them set the right direction by placing their purpose, vision and policy into the context of across-the-board sustainability. As toolkits include a whole range of issues, from abstract window to adventure game, battlefield mode development to informatics to computer programmes for digital analysis, and so many others, it would increase the capability of the whole field of small and medium enterprises. As is known, toolkit is an assembly of tools; it is a set of basic building units for user interfaces. The participants in the aforementioned meeting expressed the hope that decent work environment would be enhanced with training on toolkit. It is worth nothing that sixty promising SME entrepreneurs were imparted training on SME toolkits under the guidance of local and development partners. Field visits were also organised. It has been accepted that SMEs are the backbone of the country's industrial base. Now with the introduction of the toolkit initiative, it seems that a new horizon is going to open.
Whatever is done in the SME world, Bangladesh's prospects in the economic arena appear first-rate. With a rising GDP, that has surpassed most others in the developing world, any new effort and exertion for the SME sector no doubt would add to the national growth paradigm. With efforts like the new toolkit, not only employment opportunities will be expanded, but it will also add to the GDP. Besides, foreign buyers would also become interested in our products. It is good that development partners and important local entities have joined hands to pull one of Bangladesh's most important sectors further up and place it in the forefront of economic enterprises. In all likelihood SME enterprises bear the brunt of the basis of Bangladesh's journey ahead.