Improving the dairy sector and promoting sustainable energy use in Bangladesh

Improving the dairy sector and promoting sustainable energy use in Bangladesh

Round 2 Bangladesh Agriculture Completed



Partner contribution

$ 500,711

DFAT contribution

$ 500,000

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 1,000,711

Start: December 2017 - End: June 2020


Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited

The Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited (BSCL) is a financial and technology services company operating in the alternative finance sector of Bangladesh. The firm developed the i-SME platform which combines a large service delivery network of experienced field agents with smart automation. Through its portfolio companies and projects, BSCL has already facilitated approximately $17.6 million in financing to over 3,000 enterprises.

Oxfam International

Oxfam is an international confederation of 20 organisations, working in approximately 94 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam in Bangladesh has been operating since 1971 and currently has programs in over 26 districts. It works in partnership with over 15 different local NGOs, private companies, civil society organisational networks, and universities.

Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


About this partnership

In Bangladesh, a BPP partnership with the Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited (BSCL), Oxfam and the Australian Government supported dairy farmers, mostly women, to access finance to increase the productivity of their operations. The partnership resulted in an increase in income benefiting farmers, their families and communities and demonstrated the commercial sustainability loans to smallholder farmers. This Partnership Summary provides an insight into how the partners worked together, the complex challenges they faced and what they achieved.

About the initiative

Banks often perceive loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), such as smallholder dairy farming businesses, as risky and do not offer products to this market segment.

This partnership reduced the investment and risk for BSCL to reach a new market segment and demonstrate the commercial sustainability of offering loans to smallholder farmers. Oxfam prepared dairy farmers to receive the loans through financial literacy training and the Australian Government contributed catalytic funding and a connection to networks in-country.


The two-year partnership resulted in BSCL facilitating more than AUD 580,000 in financing to dairy enterprises. The dairy enterprises used the financing to buy high-quality crossbreed cows, in turn providing farmers with more assets against which to borrow. Improvements in productivity resulted in higher income. Women also reported close to 3  fewer hours of care work per week.

During the partnership, BSCL found that many female-led dairy enterprises faced lots of challenges beyond financing that affected their business’ productivity. Women were often forced to travel to meet doctors and specialists, costing them in both time away from their business and travel expenses. BSCL responded by launching a tele-doctor program. The program saw over 2,000 patients in its first six months.

Learn more in the Partnership Summary: 

Download the Partnership Summary or email us to find out more:


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