Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (Dec 5) inaugurated the National SME Fair-2021 in the city aiming to help small and medium entrepreneurs and promote market hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The premier opened the 8-day fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban in the morning, local media reported.
The Small & Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF) is organizing the annual event after a break of 19-month due to the deadly virus situation.
For the first time, 10 banks, financial institutions and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) are participating in the fair to be continued till Dec 12.
In the 9th edition of this year's SME fair, all categories of entrepreneurs, financiers, and trainers will come under one roof targeting to provide all necessary support to help them recover businesses of SME products.
The foundation held the last SME Fair in March 2020 which was quickly wrapped up after the first few cases of Coronavirus infections were detected in the country.
This edition of the fair has been designed to support the SME sector players in all aspects so that they get confidence back in doing businesses.
Due to space constraint, the foundation is allowing 325 entrepreneurs in the venue after selecting them considering product categories.
Sources said 325 entrepreneurs, of which 60 percent are females, have been selected from remote and micro level of entrepreneurs, on traditional to new and diversified products.
This year's fair includes seminars, training for newcomers, networking, skill development in technology and cluster base product development.
Brac Bank, Eastern Bank, Bank Asia, Janata Bank, Dhaka Bank, Mutual Bank, BSCIC, BITAC, BSTI, JDPC and BCSIR are joining the fair.
The products to be on the display include jute, jute items, leather and leather products, handicrafts, cane products, potteries, ceramics, artificial flowers, jewelry, boutiques, food processing, Jamdani, agro processing etc.
Besides, products from light engineering, plastic, electronic and electrical, agro machinery and IT and courier sector will also be there at the fair.
Moreover, four seminars on financing mechanisms, women entrepreneur development, technology development and the 4IR, and cluster development will be organized during the 8-day fair.
Later, on behalf of the prime minister, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, MP handed over crests, certificates and cheques to four National SME Award winning entrepreneurs.
The fair will remain open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all every day.