Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)

PKSF’s Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP), financed by the World Bank, provides assistance to micro-enterprises (MEs) of Bangladesh to increase adoption of environment-friendly technologies and enhance their marketing and brand development capacity. Of the $130 million (BDT 1040 crore) budget of the project, the World Bank’s contribution is $110 million and PKSF’s is $20 million.

The 5-year project (2018-2023) will support 40,000 microenterprises in agriculture and manufacturing sectors with special focus on environmentally stressed and vulnerable to climate change areas. Thirty sub-sectors have been identified for this project’s interventions. A Project Management Unit (PMU) has been formed at PKSF to administer the project.

Project Objective:
“To increase the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices by targeted microenterprises.”

Major Events:

  • 22 June – 30 June 2020: Fourth Implementation Support Mission by the World Bank
  • 23 February 2020: Field visit by officials of the World Bank
  • 14 January 2020: Delegation meeting on SEP between the Practice Manager of the World Bank and the Managing Director of PKSF
  • 30 December 2019: Workshop on the second round of Call for Proposal for Sub-project Concept Notes (SPCNs) from the Partner Organizations (POs)
  • 12 December 2019: Consultation meeting on environmental issues and possible mitigation measures
  • 05 December 2019: Sixth meeting of SPCN Evaluation Internal Committee
  • 24 November – 05 December 2019: Third Implementation Support Mission by the World Bank
  • 03 November 2019: Third round of call for Detailed Sub-project Proposals (DSPPs)
  • 21 October 2019: Fifth meeting of the Technical Committee
  • 17 October 2019: Fourth meeting of the Technical Committee
  • 03 October 2019: Fifth meeting of SPCN Evaluation Internal Committee
  • 22 May 2019: Workshop on Call for DSPPs
  • 25 April 2019: First phase of Agrosor loan disbursement under SEP
  • 08 – 21 April 2019: Second Implementation Support Mission by the World Bank
  • 18 April 2019: Fourth meeting of SPCN Evaluation Internal Committee
  • 29 January 2019: Third meeting of SPCN Evaluation Internal Committee
  • 21 January 2019: Second meeting of SPCN Evaluation Internal Committee
  • 18 December 2018: First meeting of SPCN Evaluation Internal Committee
  • 07-08 October 2018: Workshop on Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) for SPCNs from the POs
  • 03 – 18 September 2018: First Project Implementation Support Mission
  • 08 August 2018: Official declaration of the project’s effectiveness by the World Bank
  • 02 August 2018: Signing of Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreement (SLGA)
  • 02 July 2018: Field visit by the Executive Director, the World Bank
  • 16 May 2018: Signing of the Project Agreement and of the Financial Agreement

Mr Christophe Crepin, Practice Manager, Environment Natural and Blue Economy, the World Bank in a courtesy call on Mr Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, Managing Director of PKSF, to discuss the prospects of SEP. Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director-1, PKSF; Mr Md Rawshan Habib, Deputy Project Coordinator, Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP), PKSF; Ms Suiko Yoshijima, Task Team Leader(TTL)-SEP, the World Bank; Dr Nadia Sharmin, Co-TTL-SEP, the World Bank were also present at the meeting.

Ms Aparna Subramani, Executive Director (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal), the World Bank poses with PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Mr Md Abdul Karim, the then Managing Director of PKSF, and Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF during a courtesy meeting.

Field visit by the World Bank
Field visit during the 3rd Implementation Mission of the World Bank
Workshop on the 2nd Round Call for SPCNs
Consultation meeting on Environmental Issues and Mitigation Measures
The 3rd Round Call for DSPPs
Technical Committee Meeting
Call for Detailed Sub-Project Proposals (DSPPs)
First Phase of Agrosor Loan disbursement under SEP
The 2nd Implementation Support Mission of the WB
First internal evaluation meeting on submitted SPCNs

Mr Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director-3 of PKSF and Dr Akond Md Rafiqul Islam, Senior General Manager, PKSF at the workshop on REOI for filling up the SPCNs with the officials of primarily selected POs

Signing of the Project Agreement of SEP by Mr Md Abdul Karim, the then Managing Director of PKSF, and Mr Qimiao Fan, Country Director of the World Bank, in the presence of Mr Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, and Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF, Mr Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Project Coordinator-SEP and other officials from PKSF and the World Bank.

Signing of the SLGA on Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) by Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF and Mr Shirajun Noor Chowdhury, Deputy Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance.

Project Components:

The first of the three components of SEP will support common services influencing non-revenue-generating physical activities to be environmentally sustainable through enhancing low polluting businesses as well as increased eco-labeling, product certification, brand development and access to premium markets. Besides, POs’ capacity development and revenue-generating common services are included in this component.

The project, through component-2, will be extending financial support for income-generating opportunities to the targeted microenterprises by supporting investment in activities — which are resource-efficient, low polluting, green and resilient — through Partner Organizations (POs) as Agrosor loan.

Under the component-3, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will ensure the project implementation in a timely and effective manner. It also includes activities for PKSF/PO-level capacity building, facilitating communication and knowledge management, printing-publications, sub-sector studies, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E).

Project Development Objectives (PDO)-level Results Indicators:

Covid-19-focused activities under SEP:

In March 2020, the Government of Bangladesh declared general holidays to check the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the country. As a result, like all other sectors, the activities of micro-entrepreneurs under SEP was immensely affected. The SEP Project Management Unit provided support to the micro-entrepreneurs and the POs implementing the sub-projects at the field. The PMU activities in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic are as follows:

Awareness activities: Emergency awareness activities on personal safety and hygiene have been conducted in line with Covid-19 information from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Appropriate guidelines have been provided to the partners to raise awareness among the MEs. Leaflet and poster distribution, disseminating awareness messages through loudspeakers, establishing hand washing booths, and disinfecting public spots are some of the activities undertaken by the POs to generate awareness against Covid-19. In addition, with guidance from the PMU, the POs regularly sent short messages or text messages to the micro-entrepreneurs.


Loan activities: As per the directives of the Government of Bangladesh, the PMU of SEP ensured that all the Partner Organizations to suspend the loan disbursement activities.

Constant communication: The PMU maintained constant communication with the project-related officers of the POs, who in turn always stayed in touch with the micro-entrepreneurs concerned. They would send regular updates from the field.

Training program: A special handout on Covid-19 Health and Safety Training was prepared by the PMU of SEP. The PO officials have already received this training so that they can create awareness among the micro-entrepreneurs with the information obtained from this training.

Provision of technical assistance: Micro-entrepreneurs in the poultry, livestock and fisheries sub-sectors have been adversely affected due to disruption in transport during the Covid-19-induced general holidays. In order to insulate micro-entrepreneurs from economic loss in these sub-sectors, the PMU, through the POs, provided technical advice including on feeding cattle with minimum feed, converting raw milk to dairy products like ghee, cheese etc.

Introduction of alternative markets: The PMU encouraged the MEs to explore alternative markets/supply channels through online marketing. MEs from SEP’s Fruit (Mango) and Dairy Products sub-sectors were connected to the e-commerce platforms through POs, which enabled them to market their products even during the strict restricts of transport movements.

Strengthening online communication: The PMU has strengthened its online communication channels with the POs in the field. In addition to regular internal meetings, the PMU conducted additional meetings through teleconferencing. Meetings with external experts were held online as well. Regular online meetings are held with the PO officials concerned.

Making and distributing PPE: The Project Management Unit provided technical assistance to micro-entrepreneurs in manufacturing masks and personal protective equipment. Under the SEP, MEs from the Mini-Garments sub-sector are producing personal protective materials with the technical assistance of the PMU. POs distributed these products among MEs in other sub-sectors and local people.


Development of Sector-Specific COVID-19 Protocol:

The PMU developed sector-specific COVID-19 protocols in compliance with the personal safety and health regulations issued by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IDCR) of Bangladesh and the World Health Organization (WHO). Complying with these protocols are helping MEs stay safe from contracting Covid-19 while continuing business activities during this pandemic.