ICASL, SDB Bank launch third initiative to support SME sector
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka in collaboration with SDB Bank launched the third initiative to support the small and medium size entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the Western Province on 28 February 2021 at a hotel in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte.
The event saw the participation of CA Sri Lanka President Manil Jayesinghe, SDB Bank Chairman Lakshman Abeysekara, SDB Bank CEO Thilak Piyadigama, as well as the SME Task Force established by CA Sri Lanka for this purpose. This programme was launched previously in the Southern and Central Provinces in December 2020 and in January 2021 respectively.
This is a unique programme where volunteers of CA Sri Lanka and AAT Sri Lanka engage in a process of mentoring the selected SMEs of the SDB Bank over a period of time by visiting their business places and guiding them with necessary skills.
The intention of the programme is to uplift the capacities including financial literacy and the business acumen of the SMEs spread throughout the country so that on one hand they can deal with the financial institutions effectively and on the other hand they can get the skills and advice needed to take their businesses to the next level.
It is expected that with an independent voluntary professional playing the role of the mentor, the bank can depend to a great extent on the mentor in the process of converting from security-based lending to cash flow based lending which is a much needed phenomenon in developing the local economy to the next level.
After the ceremony entrepreneurs were introduced to the mentors in the presence of the respective bank managers. It is planned to launch this programme in all provinces of Sri Lanka and to support at least 500 deserving SMEs.