Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are considered as an important strategic sector for promoting growth and development in Bangladesh. Over the years, SMEs have gained recognition as a major source of employment, income generation, poverty alleviation and rural development. But the SMEs do not have enough financial capacity and are not in a position to compete successfully in the national as well as in the international markets. For the development of the SMEs, it is necessary to identify the problems and potentials of SME clusters and design appropriate interventions for their development. The objective of the study is to examine cluster-based SME development and compare the findings with those of non-cluster-based SMEs and also to select the best approach and propose interventions plan for developing SMEs located in SME clusters in Bangladesh. The study has the following objectives:
1. Comparative analysis of cluster-based SME development vs. non-cluster-based SME development in Bangladesh.
2. To find out challenges and prospects of cluster-based SME development in Bangladesh.
3. To examine the scope of sub-contracting and value chain opportunities in the SME clusters.
4. To identify policy anomalies, market failures and institutional barriers for cluster-based SME development in Bangladesh.
5. To recommend appropriate strategies and holistic action plan (intervention plan) for Cluster-based SME development in Bangladesh in light with the international best practices.
6. Guide SME Foundation towards next steps for promoting cluster-based SME development in the country.
Following World Bank-Bangladesh Enterprise Survey 2013, the study will estimate the sample size and conduct the survey. Sample firms for SME clusters will be selected from the list of cluster firms provided by the SME Foundation. Non-cluster firms will be selected based on the secondary information available in Survey of Manufacturing Industries, BBS database, and business associations. Non-cluster sample will be drawn from the same sub-districts from where the cluster samples are selected.
Core Team Composition of the study:
Study Director/ Team Leader: Dr. Kazi Ali Toufique
Senior Researcher/ Economist: Dr. Kazi Iqbal
Researcher/ Data Analyst: Dr. Zabid Iqbal
Statistician: Mr. Paritosh Kumar Roy (External Consultant)