Brac Bank, in partnership with Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS), has launched a financial solution named "Uddom" to support the BCS members.
The new initiative will enable BCS members to get unsecured loans of up to Tk1 crore at a 9 percent interest, while for women entrepreneurs, the interest rate will be 7 percent, read a press release.
Brac Bank will also install a booth for facilitating the deposit services. The bank's online SME business suite will help BCS member-clients to showcase their inventory and find better positioning for their products.
Brac Bank's head of SME, Syed Abdul Momen, explained how 'Uddom' solution would help the small and medium ICT entrepreneurs with access to finance and preferred facilities.
'Uddom' is not just a loan package, but a holistic financial solution meant for supporting the ICT sector and nearly two-and-a-half thousand BCS members in their recovery from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, read the press release.
On Saturday, a virtual inauguration ceremony was organised at which State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak attended as the chief guest.
Other eminent guests included Sonia Bashir Kabir, founder of SBK Tech Ventures; Md Shahid-ul-Munir, president of BCS; Mohammed Monirul Islam, secretary-general of BCS; Selim RF Hussain, managing director and CEO of Brac Bank, and Syed Abdul Momen, head of SME at Brac Bank.
Established in 1987, BCS has seamlessly been serving the public and private sector ICT stakeholders of the country for the last three decades, the press statement added.
Brac Bank will also provide relevant document related support regarding obtaining membership for nonmember clients, deploy dedicated loan officers at its Elephant Road branch, set up a dedicated SME helpline for BCS member-clients, and provide dedicated relationship officers in all the seven divisions. BCS members will get a free debit card and free internet banking solutions from the bank.
Any interested ICT entrepreneur will need to have at least 2-year running BCS membership to avail of the facilities.
Appreciating this initiative, State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, "We thank Brac Bank for caring about this sector and coming forward to support the entrepreneurs in this challenging time."
"We consider BCS as an important stakeholder to achieve the vision of a Digital Bangladesh. I would encourage the BCS members to set up manufacturing and assembling plants for accessories and computer parts as well as smart devices," the state minister added.
He promised to support Brac Bank-funded BCS members to have spaces in the 28 high-tech parks and 64 Sheikh Kamal IT Training Incubation Centres.
Sonia Bashir Kabir congratulated Brac Bank and BCS for this timely initiative, saying, "This will surely help to reduce the four billion credit gap in the SME sector and help the SMEs to become more successful. I would encourage Brac Bank to simplify the underwritings for the small and medium entrepreneurs."
Brac Bank's MD and CEO Selim RF Hussain said, "SME is in our DNA. We will carry out the legacy of our founder late Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG to support the 'missing middle' of the society. We are the biggest collateral-free lender in the country and we'll continue this to ensure financial liberty and inclusion and play a positive role in making Bangladesh digital."
BCS Secretary-General Mohammed Monirul Islam said, "Both parties will benefit from this partnership. Uddom will be a blessing for the BCS members in overcoming the liquidity crisis."
BCS President Md Shahid-ul-Munir made the concluding remarks and said, "The ICT entrepreneurs, of which most are below the age of 35, suffered a lot in the last few months. I thank Brac Bank for taking this noble initiative to stand by them. We will make progress together and establish 'Made in Bangladesh' a slogan of our international identity."
He also informed the audience that at least 26 of their entrepreneurs have already launched the production of tech commodities.