Business-friendly regulations to help women entrepreneurs grow SMEs

ISLAMABAD: Entrepreneurship is one of the most common rising trends in modern economy. It is closely connected to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The economic and commercial systems cannot function without the assistance of SMEs. The SME sector makes a major contribution to women’s employment. Recently, more attention has been paid to financing for women entrepreneurs so that they can play their due role in the economic growth of the country, reports WealthPK.
Talking to WealthPK, Behram Bashir Khan, head of credit at the SME Bank, Islamabad, said, “the performance of a borrowing entrepreneur can be different from a non-borrowing self-financed entrepreneur. Women who have access to loans and savings have more control over decisions and may develop their businesses and ensure their successful, long-term operations.”
“Nowadays, women are starting businesses at a faster rate than their male counterparts and are significantly contributing to the creation of jobs and economic progress. Mostly, women entrepreneurs in Pakistan are engaged in traditional sectors such as boutiques, clothing, bakeries, handicrafts, jewellery, and other similar micro and small businesses,” said Behram.
He said, “the SME Bank is always leading to create and support financing packages for women entrepreneurs and foster growth among the SMEs.”
“Our bank is also working on ‘Refinancing Facility for Modernization of Small and Medium Enterprises’ that allows the SMEs to grow, modernise, or replace the existing operations with any new technology at a highly compensation rate with the interest rate of 5%, which is less than the normal interest rate,” said Behram.
“In order to encourage women financial inclusion, our financing facility for women entrepreneurs improves their access to funding and allows them to use it for company start-up or business expansion,” he said.
“Women entrepreneurs are increasingly using bank financing to launch their own businesses and grow them into large enterprises,” he added.
He expressed hope that in future more work would be done towards raising awareness among women about owing small businesses.
Since women make up about half of the country’s population, it is essential that the government recognise this reality and implement further business-friendly regulations to facilitate their easy access to financing, thus enabling them to launch their own small and medium-sized firms.
In order to promote women’s participation in the nation’s economic operations, the government should introduce special training programmes and financial institutions.