UNDP and Partners Join Forces to Foster Sustainable and Resilient CMSMEs in Bangladesh

Nurturing Bangladesh's Future: UNDP and Partners Empowering Sustainable CMSMEs for Resilience and Growth

October 16, 2023

Key stakeholders unite in Dhaka to forge a path towards a thriving CMSME ecosystem in Bangladesh. Pictured: SME Foundation, Development Partners, Policy Makers, Regulators, and the Private Sector in collaborative action.

©UNDP Bangladesh

In a collaborative effort, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently convened a National Consultation Workshop on October 9, 2023 on "Enhancing Resilient Livelihoods and Promoting Sustainable CMSMEs (Cottage, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in Bangladesh." The workshop, held in Dhaka, brought together key stakeholders, including the SME Foundation, Development Partners, Policy Makers, Regulators, and the Private Sector, to lay the foundation for a thriving ecosystem supporting CMSMEs in Bangladesh.

The workshop featured the presentation of UNDP's national and sub-national level studies, conducted under various programs, including the Sweden-funded "Global Programme on Environment and Climate Change," "Strengthening Governance of Climate Change Finance to Promote Gender Equality," and the FCDO-funded "Climate Finance Network." These studies revealed key findings and proposed interventions aimed at enhancing community resilience and promoting nature-based, low-carbon, and climate-resilient enterprises in Bangladesh.

Sonali Dayaratne, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, highlights the vital role of CMSMEs, contributing 25% to Bangladesh's GDP, in fostering economic growth and sustainability.

©UNDP Bangladesh

Sonali Dayaratne, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, emphasised the pivotal role of CMSMEs in the country's economy, contributing approximately 25% to the GDP. She underscored the importance of CMSMEs in generating employment, supporting equitable economic distribution, and contributing to sustainable employment and the country's smooth graduation, particularly in light of its LDC status.

Dr. Mafizur Rahman, Managing Director of SME Foundation, highlighted the role of SMEs in economic development and resilience. He outlined the Foundation's efforts to empower SME entrepreneurs through training, business development, skill enhancement, and promoting environmentally friendly business practices.

Chowdhury Liakat Ali, Director of the Sustainable Finance Department at Bangladesh Bank, reported the success of their green financing initiatives, which have led to a remarkable increase in green finance, reaching 5.08% in 2023, up from 4.9% in 2022 and 3% in 2021.

Sanjay Kumar Bhowmik, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, stressed the critical role of SMEs in climate resilience and called for increased collaboration to help these enterprises recover from challenges like COVID-19, cyclones, and natural disasters

Nayoka Martinez Bäckström, First Secretary/Deputy Head of Development Cooperation Environment and Climate Change at the Embassy of Sweden, emphasizes Sweden's commitment to supporting CMSMEs for a sustainable future in Bangladesh.

©UNDP Bangladesh

Nayoka Martinez Bäckström, First Secretary/Deputy Head of Development Cooperation Environment and Climate Change at the Embassy of Sweden highlighted Sweden's support for CMSMEs, especially women-led enterprises, and their commitment to reducing gender inequality and enhancing climate resilience in Bangladesh.

Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF, emphasised the multifaceted challenge of mobilising finance for climate adaptation, while Dr. Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of ME SOLshare Ltd, stressed the need to bridge the gap in climate adaptation and mitigation for SMEs.

Maliha Muzammil, Climate Change Specialist at UNDP, leads a panel discussion featuring insights from various experts, driving sustainability and resilience for CMSMEs in Bangladesh.

©UNDP Bangladesh

The workshop also featured a panel discussion on emerging issues and key enablers for promoting sustainable CMSMEs, facilitated by Maliha Muzammil, Climate Change Specialist at UNDP. It included insights from various experts, such as Dharitri Kumar Sarkar from MoEFCC, Syed Abdul Momin of BRAC Bank, and other notable participants.

The event also witnessed commitments from key stakeholders, including SME Foundation, the Embassy of Sweden, BRAC Bank, the National Association of Small & Cottage Industries of Bangladesh (NASCIB), and Bangladesh Bank, who expressed their willingness to collaborate with UNDP in creating an enabling environment for CMSMEs to thrive, aligning with Bangladesh's national efforts.

This collaborative effort underscores the collective commitment to strengthening the CMSME sector in Bangladesh and advancing sustainability, climate resilience, and economic growth.

Join us in shaping a sustainable future! Discover how UNDP and partners are empowering CMSMEs in Bangladesh, driving economic growth, resilience, and environmental sustainability.