Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations in SAARC: Merchants development driving rural markets in Bangladesh (SHIFT-MDDRM)






Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations in SAARC: Merchants development driving rural markets in Bangladesh  (SHIFT-MDDRM)

SHIFT-MDDRM project aims to contribute to Bangladesh graduation into a Low Medium Income Country by supporting industry research, mobilizing cross-sectoral coordination platforms and triggering market-level adoption of digital business models in the retail distributive sub-sector. To achieve, the project is working to build up digital and financial literacy skills of retail micro-merchants and accelerates their participation in the digital economy through on boarding them into private sector-led innovative digital products and services.


From 1/2/2017 to 31/03/2021

Budget (Euro)

Total costs EUR 5,500,000 EU contribution EUR 4,950,000


Tangail, Sirajganj Sherpur and Jamalpur districts

Implementing Organization (s)

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)


Outcome (Specific Objectives) and Outputs (Expected results)


Overall objective: reduced poverty through increased consumption and employment, and reduced gender disparities in economic participation and financial access in Bangladesh through pro-poor private sector development of off-farm distributive trade markets in rural economies.

Specific objective: greater growth and competitiveness of retail merchants in the distributive trade sub-sector in rural Bangladesh through tighter vertical integration with Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) value-chains and stronger horizontal integration with financial services value chains, especially through digital payment and m-commerce platforms. 

Expected results:

1.         Improved market-level data availability, analysis and dissemination

2.         Strengthened meso-level business development services

3.         Available retail-level value-chain innovation-challenge funding. 

4.         Greater responsible consumer education.

Target group(s)

10,000 rural merchants and employees, particularly women and women’s enterprises, across the poorest northern regions of Bangladesh.

Final beneficiaries

Low-income people as consumers of FMCG and digital financial services (DFS).