Seylan Bank empowers women to achieve their dream with ‘Dinana Aya’

Home » Seylan Bank empowers women to achieve their dream with ‘Dinana Aya’
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Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart introduced ‘Dinana Aya’, an initiative to empower female small and medium entrepreneurs, in line with International Women’s Day, with the objective of being a supportive strength to women who aspire to achieve their business goals. Aligned to this programme, Seylan Bank also offered a loan scheme, especially directed towards female SMEs, under a grant offered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

The Dinana Aya initiative will reach out to women entrepreneurs from across the island, imparting knowledge and responding to their queries about their products and services, ways of developing their businesses, identifying business opportunities, use of financial knowledge as well as understanding the demands in the market. In addition, Seylan Bank will also educate women entrepreneurs on the loan schemes available with the Bank that will be helpful for their business ventures. 

“Women, who make up half of our community, are a major driving force of the country’s socio-economic advancement. Women entrepreneurs embody the unwavering will and leadership of all Sri Lankan women. Strengthening them with knowledge they need and empowering them through financial means to go beyond their horizons to fulfil their ambitions has been Seylan Bank’s aim in this project,” said Ranil Dissanayake, Deputy General Manager – Branch Credit. 

As the first step of ‘Dinana Aya’, Seylan Bank, together with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, commenced a series of events including workshops, knowledge sharing sessions and networking opportunities for women led SMEs. The first of these events was held recently in Ratnapura, led by Prabhath Manimeldura, an expert in international business and supplies sector with over 20 years of experience. 

The loan scheme which was introduced to women led SMEs under the ‘Dinana Aya’ initiative was established by the ADB with the intent of empowering women entrepreneurs with loan facilities up to 30 million rupees under an interest rate of 14%. To qualify for this scheme, at least 51% of the enterprise must be owned by women or 20% stake in the enterprise ownership with 30% of Board Representation to be held by women, with either a CEO or COO being a female.

Women entrepreneurs who are focusing on sectors such as agriculture and agro-based industries, fisheries (offshore and inland), ornamental fisheries and aquaculture, livestock, animal husbandry and poultry, tourism, export-oriented businesses and service sectors (except trading, leasing and renting businesses) are eligible for the loan scheme.

Based on qualifications, women receive grants up to 25% of the loan amount. A 10% grant is given from the principal loan amount while another 10% grant is given to women entrepreneurs who have completed associated training. An additional 5% grant is given to entrepreneurs from Uva, Sabragamuwa, Northern and Eastern provinces.

Seylan Bank’s ‘Dinana Aya’ initiative provides the essential skills and financial boost the women entrepreneurs require and plant the seeds of a fruitful future where women-led enterprises can actively contribute towards the revival of country’s economy.

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