HNB, Sampath Bank lend U.S funds for Sri Lankan small businesses

ECONOMYNEXT – Hatton National Bank and Sampath Bank have struck a deal with the USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) to get up to $9 million for lending to Sri Lankan small businesses.

The Embassy of the United States of America in Colombo said funding through the U.S. government development agency will be available to private, micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) throughout Sri Lanka.

“This seven year program will help to address the current lack of financing to these key borrower groups,” it said in a statement.

"Increasing access to credit enables youth entrepreneurs to improve their own lives, and helps small and medium enterprises to spur further economic growth in their respective regions," said Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director for USAID Sri Lanka.

“The program represents a crucial step toward enabling Sri Lanka’s private sector and youth entrepreneurs to access capital, expand businesses, and, ultimately, to create more jobs,” the statement said.

“The agreement will unlock critical resources that will help spur innovation, foster investment, and provide critical resources to under-served segments of Sri Lanka’s economy including existing MSMEs and start-ups.”

Jude Fernando, HNB Deputy General Manager – SME and Mid-Market, said the MSME sector has immense potential and vital need for access to finance.

“We at Sampath Bank believe in entrepreneurship development at all levels and development finance has been a major area of lending for us,” Tharaka Ranwala, Senior Deputy Managing Director of Sampath Bank, said.

USAID’s DCA works with investors, local financial institutions, and development organizations to design and deliver investment alternatives to mobilize local financing for U.S. Government priorities.

To date, the DCA has helped mobilize up to $5.4 billion in private capital in 76 countries across 558 projects.
(COLOMBO, 07 September, 2018)





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