Bangladesh Bank Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF), a venture capital, was introduced in the fiscal year 2000-2001 to offer equity support to projects in prospective but risky agro-based, food processing and IT sectors. As stated on the BB website, the objective of the Fund is to increase investments in promising industrial sectors i.e. Software industry and Food processing and agro-based industry (excluding the conventional sub-sectors such as rice mills/flour mills/fishing trawlers, cold storage of potato etc.) and also to encourage entrepreneurs in these sectors.
Undoubtedly, the initiative is a revolutionary one from the perspective of objective, however, in time being, very less has been said about it. Even many of aspiring start-up entrepreneurs even don't not know about it. This post aims to serve them.
Who are Eligible:
1. The project have to be a new one and fall under these three categories i.e. software industry or food processing and agro-based industry.
2. The sponsors/entrepreneurs applying for EEF support will have to be a private limited company registered under the Companies Act, 1994 and established old companies can also apply for EEF support by setting-up a subsidiary new private limited company. But in case of a software company registered on or after 01 January, 1997 will be treated as a new company.
3. The total project cost ( including net working capital ) of the proposed project will have to be of minimum 0.50 (half) core for both IT and agro-based industries and that of the maximum is Taka 5.00 Crore for IT& Taka 10.00 Crore for agro-based industries . Project proposal with bank loan is not allowed for agro â€“based industries but allowed for IT industries.
4. The project shall have to be viable technically & financially .It should be environment friendly. Importance shall be given on the appraisal of the entrepreneurship such as educational qualification in the relevant discipline, knowledge in the technology/ process operating such project, track records in financial conduct specially with Banks/FI. In case of ratio analysis the project has to offer minimum IRR (Internal Rate of Return) of 15%, Return on equity (ROE) of 15% Debt service coverage Ratio 1.50:1 Current ratio 1.50:1 and Fixed asset coverage ratio 1.50: 1 and SWOT analysis should have to be acceptable.
5.The non-resident Bangladeshis will be given preference subject to the fulfillment of the terms & conditions mentioned in the above paragraphs.
6. Any defaulter (as defined by Bangladesh Bank) cannot apply for EEF.
7. Where a sponsor of a project needs term-loan and /or working capital loan from any Bank/FI and also equity support form the EEF, he has to submit application to the Bank/FI concerned. The Bank/FI will have to be satisfied that the project has fulfilled all the terms and conditions required. Where the sponsors/entrepreneurs need only equity support from EEF without any bank loan a Bank/FI will be nominated as representative of EEF for appraisal of the project by Bangladesh Bank(EEF) . To nominate such Bank/FI, previous business relationship of entrepreneur with the Bank/FI will be considered. The concerned Bank (which will also act as monitoring bank) will make thorough appraisal of the project in accordance with EEF rules and guidelines and if the bank is satisfied about the viability of the project they shall send the project proposal with specific recommendation to Bangladesh Bank. The Bank/FI may determine their project examination fee according to their existing rules. Bangladesh Bank, EEF Unit will re-examine the project appraisal and perform pre-sanction visit if necessary. Then EEF Unit will place it with specific recommendation before the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). TAC is a four member expert Committee under the chairmanship of the Governor of the Bangladesh Bank. This Committee is the ultimate authority to approve the projects. When a project is approved by the TAC, EEF Unit will issue a sanction letter to the concerned entrepreneur instructing them to invest their portion of equity within a certain period of time.
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Source: Baangldesh Bank