Best programs for women entrepreneurs

Bangladesh is an emerging economy of the world. However, it is still slow to generate entrepreneurial initiatives at the local level. The situation is even worse for women. A study by Mastercard Index ranks Bangladesh as one of the hardest places for women to become entrepreneurs.

However, the situation is slowly changing. Most major banks, including government ones, introduce loan programs to women for personal and entrepreneurial needs. In this article, let’s take a look at the details of the major banks offering loans to women in Bangladesh.

Factors to consider before taking out a woman loan

A loan for women does not detract much from traditional loan programs. Therefore, the general factors to consider before taking out a loan also apply in this regard. Here are some of the important things to keep in mind.

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Credit score

The credit rating determines the credibility of the borrower. It is a points system to determine the extent to which a borrower is able to return the borrowed money. Naturally, this becomes a determining factor for most banks before sanctioning loans.

Most banks do not disclose the actual minimum credit score to qualify for a loan. Although the minimum score is not disclosed, it should generally be between 700 and 800.

Guarantee value

Collateral is the agreed asset to be paid to the bank in the event that the borrower does not repay the loan. The loan amount depends on the value of the collateral asset. However, these only apply to secured loans.

Unsecured loans do not require any disclosure of collateral assets. But they come with a higher interest compared to secured loans.

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Liquidity

Borrowers with substantial liquidity assets are given priority in loan sanctioning. There are always risks of temporary setbacks in repayment. Having some form of liquid asset will help maintain repayment.

term of the loan

The duration of the loan will have an impact on the overall interest paid on it. Banks often feel comfortable lending for a shorter period. It is also a better choice for the borrower since the interest against it will be lower.

It is best to avoid long term loan commitments because even if the borrower wants to close earlier, the banks charge an early settlement fee on the loan.

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Best Banks For Women Loans In Bangladesh

EBL Women loan

The EBL Women Loan is an IME-based unsecured bespoke loan specially designed for professional women. The loan amount varies from 1 Lac BDT up to 20 Lac BDT. A borrower must be at least 22 years old to be eligible for this loan.

The salary requirement varies according to the profession for this loan from a minimum of 15,000 BDT to 30,000 BDT. The loan can be used with a term of 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months, depending on what is best for the borrower. EBL has a standard loan processing fee of 1% and a relevant early settlement fee will also apply.

DBBL Women Entrepreneurs funding

DBBL Women Entrepreneurs Financing is aimed at women who want to get into entrepreneurship. As a result, this loan program offers several facilities which make it one of the best choices out there.

The maximum loan amount is 50 Lac BDT which is designated keeping in mind the entrepreneurship of small and medium enterprises. The loan applies to women who are starting small and medium-sized businesses. To facilitate the process, DBBL does not charge any processing fees for this loan. The interest rate is set at 9%. The loan can be granted for a period of 12 to 60 months.

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IFIC – Prantonari (Women Entrepreneurs Loan)

IFIC bank’s Prantonari program is designed for grassroots women. The program is part of the initiative to empower rural women to improve the lives and livelihoods of the population.

This is a term loan that can be borrowed in the form of secured and unsecured loans. The limit for an unsecured loan is up to 5 Lac BDT and for a secured loan it is up to 20 Lac BDT. However, the loan has a higher minimum repayment period of 24 months. The term is up to 36 months at a rate of 9%.

There is no possibility of early settlement with this loan program. To be eligible for this loan, a borrower must have at least 2 years of experience in the relevant field of activity in addition to belonging to the local level. The bank requires the business to generate sufficient return to ensure repayment of the loan.

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MTB Women Entrepreneurs

When it comes to the private sector, MTB is one of the leading banks in Bangladesh. The bank stood out thanks to its competitive service and the ease of its banking operations. The MTB Women Entrepreneur Loan Program is part of their Entrepreneurial Loan project to help entrepreneurs in need of capital.

One of the programs under this business is the MTB Bhagyaboti loan. The sum range is between 1 BDT Lake and 25 BDT Lake, which is one of the highest in Bangladesh. The maximum repayment period is 36 months. The standard interest of 9% also applies to this loan.

A useful feature of this loan is that it is an unsecured loan so no collateral is required. In addition to this, the bank also does not require a guarantor to be eligible. However, the borrower must have at least 1 year of experience in the relevant business area.

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Shakti (Women Entrepreneurs) by Union Capital Limited

This entrepreneurial loan for women from Union Capital is intended for an already established company looking for capital to develop or develop its activity. As a result, the loan goes to the business rather than the individual owner. However, the owner must still be female to be eligible for this loan.

The upper limit of the loan is at 50 Lac BDT. The loan is intended for SMEs. However, the borrower can access up to 25 Lac BDT without any collateral. There is also a provision for priority service and a grace period. The individual loan details will vary from company to company and the loan amount. A borrower should contact Union Capital’s lending department directly for more details.

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MDB Nari Uddog

Midland Bank’s MDB Nari Uddog is similar to the entrepreneurial loan for women offered by DBBL. It applies to women who run a business as part of a cottage, small or medium business as defined by the Bangladesh Bank.

The bank offers loans of up to BDT 5 crore for qualifying businesses. However, it comes with its own set of warranty requirements. The business must be at least 2 years old with a viable market strategy to be eligible for this loan.

Much like Union Capital, the loan is classified as a business and can only be used by established businesses. There are also refinancing opportunities as described by the Bangladesh Bank. The borrower should visit the nearest Midland Bank branch for more information.

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Shikha loan by LankaBangla Finance

LankaBangla Finance is one of the first financial institutions in Bangladesh to operate under joint ownership. The organization has a line of loans under its Shikha program. Most of them focus on empowering women through entrepreneurship.

The “Anonnya Loan Program” is designed for women who have already entered or are looking to do so. The upper limit of the loan is set at 50 Lac BDT. A borrower can avail up to 25 Lac BDT without any form of collateral. The repayment term is 60 months.

The financial institute also offers the IME on repayment, which makes it even easier for businesses to take out a loan. There is no need for a guarantor and the organization offers priority service during and after the loan is awarded.

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Purnota by IDLC

IDLC Finance is also one of the leading financial institutions in Bangladesh. The organization offers a range of loan options for borrowers of all needs. Their Purnota program is part of the SME loan for women entrepreneurs.

The loan goes from 2 Lac BDT to 35 Lac BDT. No guarantee is necessary, even for the upper limit. The institute also allows flexible reimbursement based on revenue generation by the business.

In addition to the refinancing opportunities from the Bangladesh Bank, Purnota has one of the most competitive interest rates among SME loans. You can qualify for this loan with 2 years of business operating history and proof of income generation.

Final thoughts

This concludes the list of best banks offering entrepreneurial loans for women in Bangladesh. Although there are other banks as well, and each has its own patterns, these banks and financial institutions stand out for their service and characteristics. Before you begin, it is important to carefully read all the information relating to the loan or, better yet, speak to a representative to actually determine the value and feasibility of the loan.

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