Around 59 per cent of the women entrepreneurs have not even heard about the stimulus package announced by the government for women-driven Cottage, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CMSME) sector.
Again, a large number of those who have heard about the package did not apply for the special working capital facility.
A survey, conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), also found that only 7.0 per cent of the women entrepreneurs, aware of the package, have applied for the loan.
CPD study findings were presented at a virtual dialogue on ‘Socio-Economic Recovery Measures of the Government: How Much Women Have Benefitted’ this (Thursday) morning.
With Professor Rounaq Jahan, Distinguished Fellow of CPD as session chair, CPD’s Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun made the keynote presentation which includes the survey findings.
It also pointed out a number of reasons why most of the women entrepreneurs have not applied for the loan facility.
Some entrepreneurs did not apply for the loan anticipating that it would be a lengthy process while some did so thinking that they might not get loans since they are single.
Again, bank officials do not encourage taking loans saying that there is no such loan for women SMEs yet or there are no orders from the authority to give loans to women.
Lack of information regarding where to go, who to ask, what to do and how to apply for it also discourages many women entrepreneurs to apply for the loan.
Moreover, banks are unwilling to provide the amount of money that they need and some bank officials create extra hassle, deterring them from applying for the loan.
The special working capital facility for liquidity support worth Tk 200.0 billion ( US$ 2,353 million) has been announced last year which is equivalent to 19.43 per cent of total Covid-19 funding and 0.72 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).