Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 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 of the 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 of debt capital to SMEs. 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 Industry and Commerce Ministry.
SMILE III will allow SMEs to borrow up to Rs.25 million 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 fulfil the basic financial needs of the rural people. The provision of SME loans has largely allowed the bank to fulfil this mandate. The SMILE III scheme allows borrowing up to Rs.25 million with a fixed and subsided interest rate of 8 percent per annum with a maximum repayment period of up to 10 years and a concessionary scheme where borrowers could pay only the interest for up to two 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 jewellery, handlooms and handicrafts, packaging, spices, wood and steel production and electronics.
Information regarding the SMILE III loan scheme could be accessed from SME centres and branches islandwide. 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 to play a vital role in the advancement of the Sri Lankan economy by working tirelessly to uplift SMEs.