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INSPIRED, empowering SMEs in Bangladesh

Technical assistance for the capacity building of the national SME support infrastructure and the preparation of the Bangladeshi national SME development strategy as well as the management of the SME competitiveness grant scheme.

Reference: EuropeAid/130016/C/SER/BD, Programme Components 1 and 2b

This Technical Assistance (TA) program was aimed at ensuring, under the Component 1, that an adequate policy and strategy for the SME development is established and that that key institutions, such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Cell (SMEC) of the Ministry of Industries (MoI) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF), have adequate capacity and clear roles and responsibilities to support the SME development. Furthermore, under the Component 2, the program aimed at strengthening some of the Business Intermediary Organizations, thus, allowing them to better support their members, increase their membership and work upon behalf of their sector, and support private sector development, in particular facilitate the development of dynamic clusters with efficient backward and forward linkages.

The program included:

  • a multi-sectoral and inter-ministerial national strategy and action plan for theSME development, addressing all aspects of SME support, including improvements in the business environment in line with accepted international best practice
  • a strengthened national capacity to plan and implement SME development
  • an effective SME networking mechanisms aimed at sharing best practices
  • the SME Competitiveness Grant Scheme of €6.5m to business intermediary organisations in the following sectors: agro-processing, natural fibres, leather, plastics, light engineering, electronics, furniture and textiles
  • a support to clusters by using value chain development initiatives that seek to increase the SME competitiveness in agreed sectors and provide capacity building to business intermediary organisations (BIOs) in lobbying, advocacy, networking, public-private sector dialogue and the provision of business development services (BDS) to their members.

Anteja led the development of the SME Cluster Development Policy, promoting linkages, networks and clustering of SMEs on a sector-specific basis. This included advice on the value chain development, training for policymakers and the SME Foundation staff, benchmarking of cluster related organisations, institutional needs assessment analysis for cluster development, development of Cluster Strategy and financial support mechanisms.

INSPIRED was funded by the EU and the Government of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The contracting authority was the Ministry of Industries, the main beneficiary. Other beneficiaries were the SME Foundation and the Bangladesh Bank. The programme is aimed at supporting the development of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Bangladesh.

Partners: BMB Mott McDonald BV (NL), Formaper, Agency of Milan Chamber of Commerce (IT), International Development Ireland Ltd (IE)

Client: European Commission

Date: 2012 – 2016

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