(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Building a stronger foundation for SMEs led by women, Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank, HNB PLC, partnered with WeConnect International to host an exclusive ‘Equity Infusion Session’ programme for chosen entrepreneurs.
The bank provided this exclusive opportunity to a group of women business owners to present proposals on expanding their businesses to advisors and potential investors such as Hong Kong-based Eqwarty(HK) Ltd
“It is of utmost importance that we revitalize the economy through investments and programmes that support and strengthen Sri Lankan businesses. Given that only 32% of the workforce are women, of which 25% own SMEs, we look to facilitating access to finance and capacity-building programmes to strengthen their position. We are delighted to have partnered with WeConnect International to provide talented and hardworking women entrepreneurs with the opportunity and exposure to expand their businesses,” HNB Chief Human Resource 0fficer,L .Chiranthi Cooray said.
Speakers for the session included HNB Deputy General Manager Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne, Head of SME Products and Partnerships Niluka.T.Amarasinghe and Saliya Weerakoon – Chairman Eqwarty(HK) Ltd.
Notably, the bank will organize a second session in the near future, extending the opportunity to other women-led businesses to access their capital requirements without resorting to higher debt-equity ratios, thereby reducing the risks associated with it.
“Our sessions with SMEs aim to build a stronger foundation for women entrepreneurs to enter global marketplaces. Access to capacity-building programmes and advisors will offer enterprises and women that lead them the opportunity to improve their skills and diversify their business propositions across the globe. As such, we are delighted to have partnered with HNB at this crucial time to offer businesses and the women that lead them the opportunity to compete in global markets,” WeConnect
International Country Lead Uditha Tennakoon said.
WeConnect International is a global network connecting women-owned businesses to qualified buyers worldwide. Today, it is represented in 135 countries, and approximately 10,800 women business owners were trained in 2021.
With 256 customer centres, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative private banks. Consolidating its legacy in sustainability, good governance and corporate excellence, HNB was crowned the Best Corporate Citizen for 2022 at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Awards. The bank further secured four additional accolades, including being among the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens and taking home the Governance category and Sustainability Champion for the Finance sector titles. Similarly, HNB was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for the sixth consecutive year in 2022, in addition to being crowned the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 12th occasion at the prestigious International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2022 hosted by the Asian Banker Magazine.