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HNB serves Anuradhapura entrepreneurs under Citi-CCC programme

6 October 2017 10:59 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Citi Bank in collaboration with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Hatton National Bank initiated the ‘Rural Economic Empowerment Programme’ in June 2015 with the objective of empowering rural entrepreneurs through improving their financial literacy and business management skills as well as facilitating micro financing through mainstream banks.


The first phase of the project assisted over 400 rural entrepreneurs in four rural villages in Matara and Ratnapura districts. 


Satisfied with the success of the first phase of the project, Citi provided the financial assistance to continue uplifting of livelihoods of people in rural areas by implementing a second phase of the project targeting a few more remote villages.


Under the second phase of the project, Hatton National Bank provided loan facilities to 30 micro and small scale businessmen in Nochchiyagama, Nachchaduwa, Nuwaragampalatha and Galnewa DS Divisions of Anuradhapura district on 22nd 
September, 2017. 


Citi – Ceylon Chamber Rural Economic Empowerment Programme especially selected the remote villages in these four DS Divisions as the rural entrepreneurs in these areas needed assistance to improve commercial viability of their businesses.


These beneficiaries were first identified by the Anuradhapura District Chamber of Commerce with the active support of Divisional Secretaries and relevant officials of the respective DS Divisions. 


Citi – Ceylon Chamber Rural Economic Empowerment Programme first created awareness on the project and services offered under the programme among the interested beneficiaries and they were subsequently trained on financial literacy, identifying commercially viable businesses and preparation of business plans for commencing new businesses or expansion of existing businesses. 


They were also given necessary guidance on ways and means of sourcing finance from the formal financial sector. During the loan disbursement event held on this day, the beneficiaries with viable business plans were given loans by Anuradhapura, Nochchiyagama and Thambuttegama branches of HNB. 


The beneficiaries, who received loans were engaged in micro scalefood processing, ornamental fish cultivation, mushroom cultivation, making school bags, operating audio-visual businesses and running auto repair and maintenance workshops. 


Asela Ratnayake, Vice President and Head of Institutional Finance Group,Citi Sri Lanka, Shanaka Waduge, Head of Corporate Affairs, CitiSri Lanka, Jude Fernando, Deputy General Manager – SME and Development Finance, HNB, Senior Managers of HNB in the North Central Region and Chandrarathna D. Vithanage, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce took part in the event, representing their respective organizations.


Chandrarathna D. Vithanage, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in his opening remarks highlighted that though the programme facilitates micro finance, this differs from a usual micro finance programme as Citi-Ceylon Chamber Rural Economic Empowerment Programme focused on providing an integrated package of services including improving financial literacy and business management skills, providing technical know-how and business development services and exposure to the best practices in order to make their chosen businesses commercially viable, which will help them access financial services from formal baking system.   


Speaking at the event, Jude Fernando, Deputy General Manager – SME and Development Finance of HNB mentioned that the HNB has been supporting the rural entrepreneurs through ‘Gemi Pubuduwa’ programme for over two decades and is privileged to partner with Citi- Ceylon Chamber Rural Economic Empowerment Programme, which was funded by Citi and implemented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. 


Shanaka Waduge, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Sri Lanka commenting on Citi’s Rural Empowerment CSR initiative, declared Citi Sri Lanka was proud to partner with HNB and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. 


Elaborating on Citi Sri Lanka’s programmes in line with its global initiatives, she stressed on Citi’s efforts to help nurture rural micro scale businesses lacking in adequate access to finance and technology. 

 

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