Fueled by its belief that SMEs are considered to be the engine of economic growth, source of innovation and a positive contributor towards employment generation and poverty alleviation, Sri Lanka’s DFCC Bank has been giving its full support to this sector by setting up a specialized unit for the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The setting up of this unit was made when the small business enterprises (SBEs) were viewed in the country as too small, risky and costly by traditional banks. It was in September 2016 that DFCC Bank set up an “MSME Unit” to combat these issues and started assisting and developing these enterprises. The Unit is intended to exclusively deal with SBEs and all their micro financing needs. It is also responsible for generating business, evaluating credit, obtaining approvals, following up and recovering facilities extended to SBEs.
In addition to the Bank’s continuous assistance to SBEs, it also offers business development services which conducts workshops and training programs for entrepreneurship development, capacity building, marketing, post-harvest technologies, accounting, record keeping and other services to help these entrepreneurs grow.
Other factors that contributed to the success of this program were the Bank’s strategy of streamlining processes to ensure speedy delivery of loan facilities, relaxing legal requirements to promote viability based lending, and offering free life insurance covers to all customers to mitigate downside risks.
DFCC Bank’s “Setting Up a Specialized Unit for Development of MSMEs” won the 2017 ADFIAP Outstanding Development Project Award under the SME Development Category.