Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) have long been a vital part of the Sri Lankan economy. Acting as a catalytic force for innovation and new ideas, these enterprises and the people behind them are a vital part ofthe Bank’s business ethos.
For the last 54 years People’s Bank has introduced a variety of loan schemes with the aim of providing a stable source ofdebt capital to SME’s. The suitably named SMILE III is a new scheme that has been introduced to uplift this community of aspiring entrepreneurs by People’s Bank along with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. SMILE III will allow SME’s to borrow up to Rs.25mn whilst providing valuable insight and business acumen to entrepreneurs embarking on both new and existing business ventures.
The Bank’s mandate from its inception is to uplift industries such as agriculture, develop factories and fulfill the basic financial needs of the rural people. The provision of SME loans has largely allowed the Bank to fulfill this mandate. The SMILE III scheme allows borrowing up to Rs.25mnwith a fixed and subsided interest rateof 8% per annumwith a maximum repayment period of up to ten years, and a concessionary scheme where borrowers could pay only the interest for up to 2 years on need basis.People’s Bank will continue to uplift this community that is significant to their vision.
This loan scheme supports enterprises in the areas such as tea, coir, rubber, shoes, food production, retail and clothing, Ayurveda medicine, technology, gems and jewelry, handlooms and handicrafts, packaging, spices, wood and steel production and electronics.
Information regarding the SMILE III loan scheme could be accessed from SMEcentres and branchesisland wide. Staff specifically trained to provide advisory services and access to facilities including speedy processing of paper work can be reached at these centres. People’s Bank also provides advisory services to entrepreneurs who already have business that are up and running. By its focus on these sectors People’s Bank continues toplay a vital role in the advancement of the Sri Lankan economy byworking tirelessly to uplift SME’s.