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Among other countries, Incluvest has been active in Bangladesh since it’s inception in 2012. The economy of Bangladesh is growing fast, but un- and underemployment is still high. There is a lot of potential in Bangladesh in agribusiness because of the demand for food and the countries potential to produce much more food. Bangladesh still imports a lot food which could be produced in the country. Nearly half of the Bangladeshi population is employed in the agricultural sector. Investing in small SME’s is complex and costly due to bureaucracy and hence less interesting.
Incluvest invested in the MFI part of Christian Society Services (CSS). They have a specific Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Fund. The SME fund has many business types, including agribusinesses, crafts(wo)men and small shops. In 2014, 789 loans were outstanding, of which 92 new loans. Loan sizes usually range from € 1.000 to € 1.500 and have a term of twelve to eighteen months. The repayment rate has been around 98% since the inception of this fund.
Since its inception at the end of 2006, 4,530 loans were distributed in small SMEs and to people who are or were reliant on informal labor opportunities or family workers. These loans created close to 7,000 jobs, which enabled those people to upgrade their standards through increased family income. The surrounding areas have been positively affected too because of the extra generation of jobs. The indirect beneficiaries of this project to date are estimated at 46,000.These are the people themselves and the direct families.
Incluvest had a total loan of BDT 42,055,000 (approximately € 400,000) to CSS. We are currently phasing out with CSS and plan to exit in 2018. We are looking for other possibilities in Bangladesh much more focused on agri value chains with bigger impact. See also our news item about OpenAccelerator.