Overview on PKSFPalli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). an apex development organization, was established by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in May 1990, for sustainable poverty reduction through employment generation. In terms of the legal context, PKSF is registered as a "company not for profit". The legal structure of PKSF allows flexibility and authority to undertake programs in a dynamic environment, implementing them at the grassroots level. To generate self-employment opportunities in the rural sector, PKSF strategized to promote a credit program at the beginning of its operations in 1990. This program has been diversified over time depending on the changing needs of the people at the grassroots. The current financing programs of PKSF include moderate poor from both the urban and the rural areas, ultra-poor, micro-entrepreneurs, marginal, and small farmers. These financial programs focus not only on financial improvement but also emphasizes on capacity building, technology transfer, value chain development, and other technical services. The major objectives of PKSF are to:
- Provide financial assistance and institutional development support to appropriate organizations for implementing sustainable inclusive financial programs for the reduction of poverty through creating productive employment opportunities for the moderate and ultra-poor, small and marginal farmers and micro-entrepreneurs.
- Support, promote, develop and identify sustainable employment opportunities for the moderate and ultra-poor, small and marginal farmers and micro-entrepreneurs; and to provide them assistance including education, health, training, and risk reduction services as may be necessary for enhancing their capacity.
- Build and strengthen the institutional capacity of the POs (partner organizations) and enhance their ability to provide various financial and non-financial services to the poor in a sustainable manner.
- Support, promote, and sponsor innovative programs and suitable projects for improving the quality of life of the poor and enabling them to lead a dignified life.
- Help the poor to diversify and strengthen their livelihood strategies, enhance their security, give them access to assets and rights, and augment their self-respect by providing them greater choices and independence.
Overview on SEPEnhancing environmental sustainability and climate resilience are becoming increasingly important for sustaining Bangladesh’s economic progress. Embarking on a greener growth pathway would provide major benefits for Bangladesh in terms of increased productivity and innovation, access to new markets, generation of public revenue, and reduction of vulnerability to shocks. In this context, PKSF is now implementing a Government approved project named ‘Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)' funded by the World Bank. The Project Development objective of SEP is set as "to increase the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices by targeted microenterprises". Micro-enterprises are a vital component within the economic system of Bangladesh. Fifty-Six (56) percentage of our employment generates from this sector. Recognizing the potentiality of this sector, PKSF is implementing several programs and projects through178 Partner Organizations (POs) at the grassroot level. At the same time, improving environmental sustainability and climate resilience are also important in maintaining Bangladesh’s economic progress. According to a study conducted by The World Bank, by 2050, 5.3 million Bangladeshis will be affected by the consequences of climate change. The World Bank estimated that outdoor and indoor air pollution and workplace environment risks are responsible for productivity loss for about 1.6 and 0.5 percent, respectively, of gross domestic product (GDP).
To cope with the financial and safety impact of the environmental changes at the economic system of Bangladesh, PKSF is enforcing a project titled “Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)” supported by The World Bank. This project is helping 40,000 Microenterprises (MEs) from the agriculture and manufacturing sectors of Bangladesh to increase the adoption of environmentally sustainable behaviors and enhance their branding and marketing potential. Thirty-Six types of sub-sectors has been selected for this project. The general finances of this venture are 130 million US dollars (BDT 1040 Crore), from which The World Bank will finance 110 million US dollars (BDT 880 Crore) and PKSF will finance 20 million US dollar (BDT 160 Crore). The duration of this project is 05 years (2018-2023).
The project will consist of three components.
Component-01: Enhancing services and enabling systems: The project will support the microenterprises to become more environmentally sustainable through establishment of physical infrastructures at the cluster level under this component.
Component-02: Strengthened access to finance for commercially viable, environment-friendly and resilient microenterprises: This component aims to expand income-generating opportunities for the targeted microenterprises by supporting investment in activities that are resource efficient, low polluting, and climate resilient. Under this component, PKSF, through its POs will provide financing to microenterprises to undertake investments environment friendly and commercially viable investments.
Component-03: Project management, knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation: This component will ensure that the project is implemented in a timely and effective manner. PKSF has established a Project Management Unit (PMU) for monitoring and supervision of the project activities headed by a Project Coordinator (PC).