Sri Lanka: SDB Bank Set to Boost SMEs and Women Entrepreneurship Nationwide
Sri Lanka, February, 04 2021 -
The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved a USD 40 Million (Rs. 7.5 Billion) term loan facility to SDB bank in a bid to promote financial inclusion, resulting in more support to SMEs, particularly female-owned Small and Medium Enterprises.
This comes as part of the financing recently approved by the DFC board to advance development in emerging markets of African, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Indo-pacific, and Latin American regions.
United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is a U.S. Development Bank specializing in providing financial support to private sector partners in developing markets. Promoting financial support to SMEs and women entrepreneurs in these markets is a key focus area for the bank. SDB bank was selected for the loan primarily due to its innovative business model that takes a progressive approach to development, with an emphasis on financial empowerment and SME development. In fact, 40% of the loan facility is reserved exclusively for women with the remaining 60% being allocated to SMEs in general. The bank’s commitment to these forward-looking policies is evident in their specialized products for female-owned SMEs which include Uththamavi, a special investment scheme for women and a general SME loan offering.
The investment loan approval granted by DFC comes at a critical time and is the first in over 7 years. The loan also comes with a series of other value additions including a Capacity Development Programme, which gives bank employees access to modern technology and know-how. This invaluable resource is then passed on to the customer, which enables them to grow their enterprise, as their hard work is directed by strategic thinking and professional business insight.
Speaking about this monumental opportunity, Thilak Piyadigama, CEO, SDB bank had this to say, “DFC is known for financing solutions which have helped overcome some of the most critical problems across the developing world. This loan comes at a time when the country needs financial support and gives us the chance to get our economy back on track faster. As always we will be giving the SME sector our full support. This loan will go a long way towards ensuring a more self-sufficient country, where hardworking Sri Lankans, who are the engine of progress, realise their financial ambitions. We are also focused on utilising these funds to create a new era of financial freedom and empowerment for female entrepreneurs”.
By uplifting SMEs and encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship SDB Bank continues to create opportunities all over the island. These initiatives create jobs, ensure local communities are uplifted, and enable Sri Lankans to enjoy a better quality of life by giving them access to higher wages. They help safeguard the rights of workers, the preservation of the environment, and continually support SME empowerment. This development is essential for the country to remain competitive on a global scale. These initiatives also guarantee critical investment happens at the right time for maximum developmental impact. SDB bank shares these developmental goals and is honoured to lead the way for a new era of progress and prosperity.