Challenge Fund Investments


Finance Against Merchandise

By SSD technologies Limited. Creating financing opportunities for e-commerce merchants

Private-private Initiative for Access to Insurance Programme

By Pragati Life Insurance Limited and INAFI Bangladesh. Composite micro-insurance covering life, asset and liability


A voice-based ERP solution, backed by a Bengali speech recognition system that eliminates the need for paper-based record-keeping for 70,000 micro and small enterprises by September 2018. Read our Hishab case study


By Bank Asia. Establishing an online loan application submission and credit approval system to provide financing to 10,000 micro and small enterprises by end 2018

Save & Grow

By bKash and participating banks. Mobile financial service that collects deposit payments and disburses loans from banks to provide 7,200 micro and small enterprises with finance opportunities by end 2018

Impact MSE

By ACACIA SRIM Limited. Establishing Bangladesh’s first socially responsible MSE investment platform

Agribusiness Boost Bangladesh

AbB is a young entrepreneurial global initiative with a strong objective to support high growth- and high impact potential agro MSEs (micro & small enterprises).

Aamra Payment Network

By aamra technologies limited: uses Near Field Communication (NFC) as an alternative to expensive point-of-sale machines for micro and small enterprises

‘CVCFL Agricultural Finance Scheme’ by CAPM Venture Capital and Finance Limited, and Agromach and Farming Services

Operating in Naogaon district to provide micro-leasing and access to finance to farmers (crop and fish) in rural areas. Fish farmers and agricultural farmers without appropriate collateral for loans are assisted to form groups so they can apply for as cooperatives from CVCFL. Anticipates funding for 1400 fish farmers/MSEs, and micro-leasing for 200 farmers.

‘IPDC-Orjon’ by IPDC

Aiming to establish an end-to-end supply chain management platform using Blockchain technology. Onboarding corporates, its primary and secondary suppliers, and IPDC into a single platform, will increase visibility of all business transactions and enable IPDC to extend easy low cost credit to 25,000 small businesses in the next five years.

‘Business Access’ by bKash

bKash initiative to equip its entire merchant and agent network with QR codes. Additionally, the initiative will develop agent and merchant mobile apps which will be used to support and promote MFS transactions. 15,000 merchants are expected to be equipped with the application by 2020.  

‘Growing Together’ by Bank Asia, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), and Syngenta Bangladesh

Setup 20 farmer centers across the country. The farmer centers will be equipped with agent banking services and create a detail database of 100,000 farmers. NFC cards will be distributed to these farmers who will be able to access flexible loan products from Bank Asia. £ 2.74 million will be disbursed to 15,000 farming entities in the next two years.

‘Creating Cattle Insurance Market by Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Tracking in Bangladesh’ by Phoenix Insurance Company, and shurjoMukhi

Creating a cattle insurance market using radio-frequency identification (RFID) rumen bolus based technology. Will provide tracking and health related data on the insured cattle heads to both the insurance service provider as well as the farmer. Phoenix insurance is aiming to provide the services to 580 MSEs with a total sum insured of £5.71 million.

Cash Management Decision Support System

By Trust Bank Mobile Money and shurjoMukhi: overdraft facilities to 10,000 mobile financial services/mobile money agent

Agent bank services

By Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL). DBBL agent banking outlets to provide banking services to 15,000 micro and small enterprises


By Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited (BSCL). Third party match making platform between financial institutions and MSEs, which will provide banking and BDS services to 10,000 micro and small enterprises by end 2018. Read our i-SME case study


By pi Strategy Consulting and Robi Axiata Limited. Mobile phone based ERP and business analytics service access to 700 micro and small enterprises by end 2018

Trade Plus

By bKash. 7,550 loans to qualifying bKash agents and merchants by end 2018

Better Life Enterprises Development

By Young Consultants. Developing a marketplace to connect technical service providers with potential clientele

Agriculture Weather Index Based Insurance

By Green Delta Insurance Company Limited. Insurance to mitigate risks from weather events for 9,800 farmers by September 2018

Equity Crowdfunding

By BD Venture Limited. Online platform for investors and investees to create alternative finance opportunities for small businesses

ShopUp’ by Shopfront

Self-learning credit appraisal platform that assesses Facebook MSEs by utilising data from 25 different sources. ShopUp's shop management tool collects necessary information, and the algorithm prepares a loan offer based on the MSE's working capital requirements and repayment capacity. The loan offer is then forwarded to formal financial institutions, who then finance the MSE. Aims to disburse £1m to 800 women entrepreneurs.

‘Shetu’ by S11

A platform to provide a centralised marketplace for commodity exchange among value chain actors in sectors such as readymade garments, agriculture, and automobile parts. On the platform, producers can register and upload products following standardised guidelines and pricing systems. Wholesalers then buy products from merchants directly. Anticipates financing at least 50 small businesses and facilitating at least 200 thousand transactions on the platform.

‘Smart Capital’ by Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh

VIPB has partnered with LightCastle Partners and Syngenta Foundation to create farmers hubs, provide mentorship, and run accelerator programmes and boot camps that helps the agriculture businesses to become fully bankable businesses. VIPB will then invest in the most promising ventures. VIPB anticipates supply chain development of at least 12,000 farmers, with 60 small businesses receiving equity financing

‘Last Mile Agent’ by Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited

Extending benefits of agent-banking by deploying active door-to-door services by agents. This is expected to increase customer traffic to pre-existing business of the agents, especially deposit sales, and improve community standing through bank-brand affiliation. For customers, the expected benefits are greater convenience and cheaper transaction cost. Anticipates 10,000 small businesses with new banking services, with 250 small businesses selected for initial financing of £1m.

Swosti-mfi247’ by Swosti Limited

Bangladesh’s first mobile application-based microfinance and savings management software system. This paperless service enables NGOs, microfinance institutions and credit to transparently, efficiently, and quickly manage their microfinance operations. Aims to facilitate loans to 10,000 new small businesses, with a total of 28,000 disbursements of £12.8m in loans.


Want to learn about funding opportunities through our 'rolling round' of funding? now open