The SME Foundation yesterday signed an agreement with IDLC Finance Ltd to provide collateral-free loans to entrepreneurs of the plastic industry based in Old Dhaka.
The foundation will provide IDLC a fund of Tk 3 crore at 4 percent interest rate, which the non-bank financial institution would then lend to entrepreneurs at 9 percent interest rate, said Nurul Alam Shaheen, deputy general manager of the SME Foundation.
The beneficiaries of the arrangement would be entrepreneurs from Islambagh, Chawkbazar, Lalbagh and the nearby areas, and they would have to go through the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association to get the loan, he said.
The foundation has already identified 177 SME clusters across the country to provide financial assistance and other need-based support, according to Shaheen.
The plastic cluster spanning over 5-6 square kilometres in Old Dhaka has around 3,000 entrepreneurs, employing nearly 1 lakh people directly and indirectly.
The foundation has similar deals with five banks and a non-bank financial institution to provide such funds in seven clusters.
Under its 'Credit Wholesale Programme' the foundation has distributed Tk 19.80 crore since 2009, said Shaheen.
The 12 booster sectors include: electronics and electrical, software development, light engineering and metal working, agro-processing industry, leather industry, plastic, healthcare, educational service, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toiletries and fashion designing.