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US to launch US $ 19.5mn project to help SMEs and empower Lankan women

12 December 2020 01:32 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Tourism, technology and commercial care small businesses to benefit 
  • To help Sri Lanka weather economic impact of COVID-19 

The United States has launched a new US $ 19.5 million (Rs.3.6 billion) initiative to help small businesses and economically empower Sri Lankan women.


The private sector development project, which is funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide technical assistance and financing to small businesses in the tourism, technology and commercial care industries, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement this week.


It will also help Sri Lanka weather the economic impact of COVID-19 by providing the much-needed financial assistance through which businesses will be able to expand job opportunities for women and increase profits, thanks to better business practices. 


Strengthening resilience in the face of the pandemic is a key step toward a post-COVID economic recovery.
“This project demonstrates the United States’ long-term commitment to engage the private sector in development cooperation that shape market-driven solutions to achieve sustained impacts,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz. 


“Most importantly, this timely assistance will also mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka,” she added.


The initiative will promote innovation and entrepreneurship and provide incentives for Sri Lankan financial institutions to support underserved communities in rural areas throughout the country. 


Finally, it will encourage businesses to hire more women. Studies show that when women are economically empowered, they reinvest back into their families and communities, which drives economic growth.

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