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SDB bank receives USD 40 million loan facility from US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to nurture SMEs and female entrepreneurship

Extending a helping hand during one of the most crucial times for the local economy, the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) recently finalised the official handing over of a USD 40 million (Rs. 7.5 billion) term loan facility to SDB bank to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly female-owned ventures.

DFC is known for providing access to finance to over 10 million SME and microfinance borrowers in low-income and lower-middle-income countries worldwide and initiating over 800 projects around the world. Offering innovative financial solutions through debt financing, political risk insurance, equity investment and private equity investment funds, the corporation is focused on mobilising capital to solve critical development challenges.

Having approved the loan facility to SDB bank in January, 2021, the DFC recently released funds to the local bank, as part of its global initiative to finance advance development in emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Indo-pacific and Latin America.

“The DFC gives this loan as part of the US policy to provide financial inclusivity to all, especially to reduce gender inequality and uplift female enterprises,” shared US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Alaina B. Teplitz. She noted: “The Sri Lankan economy is at a crucial juncture and requires long-term, stable funding to recover from the consequences of COVID-19. The US is keen to boost SMEs in Sri Lanka, mainly those that are women-driven, given the adverse impact felt by this segment due to the pandemic.”

SDB bank’s progressive approach to development and its keen focus on financial empowerment and SME development, including the upliftment of women entrepreneurs, led the bank to be selected for the loan by the DFC. The bank’s comprehensive product portfolio targeting women entrepreneurs, including unique female investment schemes and general SME loan offerings, are testaments to its commitment to uplifting this critical group of entrepreneurs.

Forty percent (40%) of the loan facility will be used exclusively for women enterprises, while 60% will be allocated to SMEs in general. The facility also includes a series of value additions, including a Capacity Development Programme to provide SDB bank’s employees access to modern technology. This digital empowerment will result in more value passed on to customers to help them grow and build enterprises with the help of technological advancements.

SDB bank is renowned for its unwavering support provided to Sri Lanka’s SME sector, which it endorses to be the engine of economic growth and community upliftment in the country. The DFC loan will help SME entrepreneurs realise their financial ambitions and support the financial empowerment of female entrepreneurs.

The impact of the loan will spread to needy communities across the island and help SDB bank provide a gamut of financial opportunities that create jobs, uplift social wellbeing and help Sri Lankans to enjoy a better quality of life. Alpen Capital played the role of Financial Advisor to obtain the loan.

The DFC loan arrives at an imperative time for SDB bank and Sri Lanka. The bank is confident that the facility will strengthen its continuous drive to support SMEs and women entrepreneurs with high quality innovative and competitive financial products, using advanced digital technology and the bank’s steadfast dedication given its position as one of the most responsible financial institutions in Sri Lanka.