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Story: A Business Planning Success

Ms. Hasina Jahan is the CEO of a small business in Bangladesh that produces coir mattresses. She started off in a small way but her business grew quickly, and keeping up with the increasing demand for her product proved to be a challenge. In an experience-sharing session organized by the South Asia Enterprise Development Facility's Knowledge Center at the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hasina explained some of the challenges that her business was facing—chief among them was obtaining a bank loan.
Hasina had previously heard about a local bank that provides loans to SMEs without collateral. She went to the bank and spoke to a loan officer, who requested that she provide certain financial documents and a business plan. Fortunately, she already had the financial documents ready, and after soliciting suggestions from colleagues and friends, she quickly prepared an informal business plan. But after reviewing Hasina’s documentation, the loan officer said he would be unable to give her the loan due to uncertainty that she would be able to repay it. Hasina left the bank feeling disheartened and unsure of what her next step should be.
It was at the Knowledge Center session that Hasina first heard about the SME Toolkit and its tools for assisting managers of small and medium enterprises in preparing a standard business plan. Hasina promptly returned to the Knowledge Center, where an associate guided her through the process of utilizing the SME Toolkit to create a formal business plan.
Shortly thereafter, Hasina’s new business plan enabled her to obtain the loan of USRWF2,000 that she needed. The loan provided a major boost to her business, and now Hasina is ready to apply for larger loans when she needs them. 

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