Sales and orders have increased in volume at annual National SME Fair since 2012, thanks to organisers, entrepreneurs, buyers and visitors' unequivocal support for such an initiative.
The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation arranged the first SME fair with the participation of 85 entrepreneurs and 100 stalls.
They posted sales to the tune of Tk 2.80 million and fetched Tk 6.04 million's worth of orders at the time.
Strikingly enough, around 66 per cent of women entrepreneurs took part in the 2012 fair.
According to official figures, sales and orders stood at Tk 55.60 million and Tk 101.40 million respectively in 2018.
It was Tk 4.81 million and Tk 7.16 million in 2013, Tk 12 million and Tk 14 million in 2014, Tk 14.90 million and Tk 43.40 million in 2016.
The amount was Tk 28.50 million and Tk 38.70 million in 2017.
However, there had been a slight decline in orders in 2017 compared to that in 2016.
This year's edition of the National SME Products Fair begins at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital today.
A total of 280 entrepreneurs-188 women and 92 men-will sell and showcase products like jute goods, agriculture, food and leather, electronic and electrical items.
No foreign products will be allowed to exhibit and sell at the seven-day event.
This time, a record 67 per cent of the participants are women entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurs also put on parade light engineering products, handicrafts, plastic and synthetic items, design and fashion products.
According to organisers, the fair yields better outcome in terms of sales and orders every year.
The annual fete also attracts international entrepreneurs, buyers and visitors.
During the fair, they said, entrepreneurs get a better and effective platform for marketing while showcasing different types of products.
One of the successes of the fair is the increasing number of women entrepreneurs' participation from across the country, they mentioned.
What is more, entrepreneurs from transgender and ethnic minority groups are a special attraction at the fair.
Md Safiqul Islam, managing director of SME Foundation, said the entrepreneurs' role in economic development and job creation is universally recognised.
They are making quality products but they lack ample scope to market, sell and showcase their products, he told the FE.
Mr Islam laid emphasis on increasing marketing opportunities for their products so the mediators cannot take advantage of their profits.
"The foundation is putting utmost effort to make better scope for SME to grow locally with its limited funds and it is committed to that," he said.
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