The Challenge

Over the past decades, development efforts in rural Bangladesh have been targeting the private sector to foster the creation of small and middle enterprises and increase the income of entrepreneurs and employees. Microfinance organizations, such as Grameen Bank and ASA, have indeed introduced micro-entreprise loans to offer low-income entrepreneurs the possibility to upscale their business. However, those initiatives have not been able to answer to address the need for technology and knowledge transfer among entrepreneurs.

The Solution

Taking a step beyond grassroots poverty reduction, GHEL has set up an Enterprise Development program as a response to the need of capacity building within the SME sector. GHEL believes, in fact, that a traditional financing method of providing only money is not enough for real development to take place. That is why the program will mobilize both capital and consultancy expertise to be distributed to SMEs that currently do not have access to this kind of support. The GHEL enterprise development model has four key components:

    • Equity or debt financing by GHEL
    • Skill training by industry experts and consultants
    • Technological and operational support systems
    • Legal, administrative and market support

The GHEL Enterprise Development program targets SMEs in a broad range of industries. Through its 80 branch offices in rural and semi-urban areas, GHEL is well equipped to assess the market potential and valuation of ventures in an overarching grass root poverty range of sectors and regions. Each branch carefully reviews local entrepreneurs and SMEs and nominates the most viable ventures to the GHEL head office. A skilled team of SME development experts then evaluates the business opportunities and allocates equity of 300,000 to 7,000,000 BDT (corresponding to 20-50 % of total equity capital) or debt funding to the most promising prospects.

Sectors Targeted

  • Agro-business
  • Food processing and preservation Pathology and Diagnostic Institutions Land development
  • Housing and construction
  • Mini garments
  • Hospitality
  • Retail and wholesale
  • Engineering and workshops


GHEL is committed to making a real impact in SME development and industrialization by offering comprehensive value adding support. GHEL aims to facilitate both domestic and   international expansion of its investment objects. This objective will be met by continuously offering the following value adding support:

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