Sri [email protected] and NDB Bank jointly conducts webinar for SMEs on accessing SME-focused lending

Sri [email protected], a private sector-led business development platform supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), hosted a webinar in partnership with NDB Bank on improving SME access to various financing schemes.  Themed “Impress for Success”, the webinar was held on the 27th of January and was attended by more than 100 participants including SMEs and corporates in Sri Lanka. 

The webinar was jointly conducted by Nilendra Vithanage, Senior Relationship Manager of Middle Market Banking, NDB as well as Sanda Wijeratne and Thivanka Bandara from Stax Inc. The session focused on highlighting the key challenges faced by SMEs and practical insights on how SMEs can improve the likelihood of getting their loan applications approved by banks. NDB Bank representatives also highlighted some of the pandemic-related and sector-specific financing schemes that were available to small and medium entrepreneurs as they navigate post-Covid challenges. 

The partnership between Sri [email protected] and NDB Bank was formed mid last year to provide value-added services and financing solutions to companies onboarded to the Sri [email protected] platform. In addition, NDB and Sri [email protected] collaborate on conducting capacity building programs and webinars to educate SMEs on financial services and solutions available to them. The partnership will help to expand Sri [email protected] Portfolio companies and contribute to the growth of the SME ecosystem in Sri Lanka.   

“SMEs struggle to obtain loans especially during these difficult times and end up borrowing from the informal sector at exorbitant rates as they are sometimes unaware of the specific financing schemes that are available to them,” said Sanda Wijeratne from Stax Inc. “We hope this webinar will raise awareness about those financing options and also how companies can avoid the typical mistakes made when applying for those schemes.” 

Indika Ranaweera, Vice President Business Banking NDB noted: “This event is a continuation of our ongoing partnership with Sri [email protected] Even during one of the greatest health crises of our lifetime, NDB has always been at the forefront of supporting MSMEs. These webinars are a part of the Jayagamu Sri Lanka initiative introduced with the intention of being a pillar of strength to the backbone of our economy - all SMEs. We hope these webinars will be a strength towards the SME sector as well as a method to provide our services to this sector.”

Sri [email protected] was launched in 2020 with support from USAID. This initiative works with high potential mid-market firms to optimize internal operations, access new markets, and attract capital to help Sri Lanka become a high-income country within 100 years of independence. Find out more about Sri [email protected] at https://srilanka100.lk/.