Ms. Hasina Jahan is the CEO of a small business in Bangladesh
that produces coir mattresses. She started off in a small way but
her business grew quickly, and keeping up with the increasing
demand for her product proved to be a challenge. In an
experience-sharing session organized by the South Asia Enterprise
Development Facility's Knowledge Center at the Dhaka Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Hasina explained some of the challenges that
her business was facing—chief among them was obtaining a bank
Hasina had previously heard about a local bank that provides loans
to SMEs without collateral. She went to the bank and spoke to a
loan officer, who requested that she provide certain financial
documents and a business plan. Fortunately, she already had the
financial documents ready, and after soliciting suggestions from
colleagues and friends, she quickly prepared an informal business
plan. But after reviewing Hasina’s documentation, the loan officer
said he would be unable to give her the loan due to uncertainty
that she would be able to repay it. Hasina left the bank feeling
disheartened and unsure of what her next step should be.
It was at the Knowledge Center session that Hasina first heard
about the SME Toolkit and its tools for assisting managers of small
and medium enterprises in preparing a standard business plan.
Hasina promptly returned to the Knowledge Center, where an
associate guided her through the process of utilizing the SME
Toolkit to create a formal business plan.
Shortly thereafter, Hasina’s new business plan enabled her to
obtain the loan of US$2,000 that she needed. The loan provided a
major boost to her business, and now Hasina is ready to apply for
larger loans when she needs them.
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