On average, 71.03 percent of women entrepreneurs got the loans they applied for
Runa Laila is the second among four siblings. Her father was a service holder, but his monthly income was not enough to cover family and education expenses.
That is why Runa used to give tuition to contribute to her and her sisters' educational expenses. She also used to save a little money from her earnings.
After she graduated, she got married to an expatriate and went to Singapore with her husband.
In Singapore, she was involved in some financial activities and made Tk10 lakh in nine years. Then, she came back to Bangladesh and opened a department store named "Arati Departmental Store" in Gazipur in July 2014.
It was her childhood dream to start her own business to overcome the financial problems of her family.
Her shop became popular in the area within a short time because it offered quality products at a fair price. She made a good profit as well.
Four years later she availed a women entrepreneur loan amounting to Tk20 lakh to open another outlet. She now has 19 people working in her shops.
Thus, Runa Laila has created job opportunities and is contributing to the country's economy.
It is a women entrepreneur's success story. However, many women in Bangladesh, especially in rural areas, are not getting bank loans even though the recovery rate is satisfactory.
Dr Md Mosharref Hossain, assistant professor at the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM), revealed this information at a seminar on Wednesday.
He presented a paper titled "Financial literacy and managerial capacity of women entrepreneurs in small firms, and access to formal sources of finance" at the programme.
His study found that 40.70 percent of enterprises received loans from banks while 59.30 percent did not.
On average, 71.03 percent of women entrepreneurs got the loans they applied for.
In his paper he gave the results of a sample survey of 344 women-owned small enterprises. Of these enterprises, 45.93 percent were from manufacturing, 38.66 percent were from trading and 154 from service.
The reasons for not getting bank loans are lack of guarantee, no trade licence, new business, low repayment capacity, poor business conditions, non-fulfilment of conditions for getting loan and being unmarried, the study said.
The study suggested that banks can introduce a credit guarantee system to reduce interest rate. Commercial banks can finance against strong personal guarantees and good business prospects by minimising excessive collateral requirements.
Banks can set up a separate counter for women entrepreneurs to facilitate their loan applications.
The study also said that banks can adopt standard loan approving procedures based on information technology and improved information management to reduce loan processing time.
On their part, women entrepreneurs should maintain a proper record of their transactions, enhance their literacy level, develop their managerial skills and build a good relationship with bankers, the research said.