Bangladesh Export Readiness Fund opens COVID-19 Enterprise Response Fund for applications
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangladesh Export Readiness Fund (ERF), managed by Landell Mills in association with Young Consultants, has introduced a new funding window: the COVID-19 Enterprise Response Fund (CERF). It is part of a wider $17.5 million USD matching-grant programme which provides financial support to eligible Bangladeshi firms to enhance competitiveness in export markets.
The fund, designed to provide rapid support for Bangladeshi businesses to expand or diversify their operations and build resilience in an everchanging economic environment, will award grants of up to $500,000 USD for supported projects. Grants will allow successful applicant firms to procure plant, equipment, materials and know-how for rapid expansion, repurposing and diversification to produce Medical and Personal Protective Equipment (MPPE) products on a sustainable basis. In doing so, the CERF will contribute to alleviating critical health sector supply shortages of critical MPPE products, both globally and in Bangladesh.
Firms demonstrating advanced and immediate plans to enter the MPPE supply chain for domestic or export markets will be considered for the fund, with projects of up to 12 months duration. The ERF anticipates that over 40 projects will be supported under the CERF funding window, with successful projects being implemented between April 2021 and December 2022.
The CERF follows the success of previous funding windows, which received over 400 applications in 2020. These windows targeted export industries aligned with Government priorities for diversifying Bangladesh's exports, including the leather, footwear, plastics and light engineering sectors, with grants awarded of up to $200,000 USD.
The CERF opened for applications on 18 April 2021, and will be open for a six-month period, subject to funding availability. More information about the fund can be found here.