• February 24, 2015

February 9, 2015?The tiniest businesses in Bangladesh will\r\nhave easier access to credit under a U.K.-AID funded program implemented by\r\nNathan Associates London and the consultancy Oxford Policy Management.

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The program, Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh\r\n(BFP-B), ?will push the\r\nboundaries of traditional lending,?? said Sarah Cooke, the Bangladesh country\r\nresident for the Department for International Development, at a February 8 event\r\nin Dhaka announcing the program?s start. The program will work with lenders,\r\nincluding banks and microfinance institutions, ?to ensure that viable micro and\r\nsmall enterprises get the financing they need to survive and grow.?

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The £22.5 million (US$34 million) program has three pillars:\r\npolicy advocacy, provision of a credit guarantee scheme, and a challenge fund.\r\nThe fund will use a competitive process to back innovative approaches to\r\nfinancial product development and business support for micro and small\r\nenterprises (MSEs) in Bangladesh.

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BFP-B will encourage up to £95 million (US$146\r\nmillion) in additional lending to enterprises that until now have been excluded\r\nfrom credit, and will help create 33,000 jobs.

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Dr. Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank, said BFP-B ?will help financial inclusion\r\nexpand substantially in Bangladesh.? The program ?will work in coordination\r\nwith the regulators to ensure that the overall micro and small enterprises\r\nlending will be conducive to our broad-based growth objective.?

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Sarah\r\nLivingstone, director of the financial\r\nservices practice at Nathan London, directs the BFP program.

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