Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B)
Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) is a £25m facility to create economic opportunities for small businesses by changing the behavior of market actors in the financial sector.
Small businesses are among the main drivers of growth for countries worldwide. In Bangladesh, small businesses employ over half of the country’s workforce and contribute to a quarter of GDP. These 8 million small businesses, also known officially as either cottage, micro and small enterprises (CMSEs), are the foundation of the country’s private sector.
The project aims to improve the policy and regulatory environment for financial institutions, inducing private sector investment in expanding the frontiers of finance, and enhancing the creditworthiness of small businesses.
Access to and use of formal financial services is one of the significant drivers of growth of small businesses in Bangladesh and the rest of the world, according to World Business Environment Survey Investment Climate Surveys.
This means credit for investments, digital payments to efficiently send and receive money for goods and services, deposit accounts and digital wallets to safely store excess liquidity, and insurance to de-risk investments.
Many small businesses choose not to use formal services even where these are available. There is little incentive to use available services due to limited product and channel offering, and inflexible product and pricing features.
This means small businesses struggle to grow, and the broader benefits of healthy and growing small businesses to the overall economy are muted.