NDB partners with SL@100 to enable increased access to finance for mid-market firms and SMEs

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


NDB Bank recently partnered with the SL@100 platform in order to focus on supporting the mid-market firms during this pandemic situation under the NDB Jayagamu Sri Lanka initiative.

The majority of the Sri Lankan businesses are under the SME segment with 45% of employment being under the same category. Thus, in an effort to uplift this segment, NDB Bank tied up with the SL@100 platform in order to develop Sri Lanka’s SME sector and to provide the non-financial assistance required to develop the sector.

NDB Bank Director/CEO Dimantha Seneviratne said, “Even during one of the greatest health crises of our lifetime, NDB has always been at the forefront of supporting MSMEs. Last year, when we introduced Jayagamu Sri Lanka, it was with the intention of being a pillar of strength to the backbone of our economy – all SMEs. We are looking forward to making this partnership successful in order to further provide our services to this sector.”

Sri Lanka@100 is a private sector-led business development platform that was launched in 2020, to support Sri Lanka’s journey to become a high-income country by 2048, when Sri Lanka will celebrate 100 years of independence. SL@100 will work with mid-market firms and SMEs in optimising internal operations, enhancing product portfolios, accessing new markets, and attracting capital. SL@100 is funded by the US Government’s development arm, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

“We are excited to partner with NDB, a pioneer in SME-focused banking in the country as we look to unleash the potential of high-growth SMEs. This MOU will match SMEs with the banking products that are a strategic fit to them,” said Sri Lanka@100 Co-founder Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera. 

As the Exclusive Banking Partner, NDB will provide value-added services and financing solutions to companies onboarded to the Sri Lanka@100 platform. In addition, NDB and Sri Lanka@100 will collaborate on hosting capacity building programs and webinars to educate SMEs on financial services and solutions available to them. The partnership will help to expand SL@100 Portfolio companies and contribute to the growth of the SME ecosystem in Sri Lanka.  

“Enterprises, particularly SMEs, play a vital role in raising the standard of living in a country, and their importance in the post-COVID recovery process cannot be overstated. This project helps SMEs navigate the current challenges, become more resilient, and increase profits and employment,” said USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Reed Aeschliman.

Under the NDB Jayagamu Sri Lanka initiative NDB also partnered with a number of other institutions, including Daraz, Maersk and EDB. The partnership with Daraz came at a time when online delivery and minimum contact was encouraged and enjoyed by the population. This partnership provided SME businesses a method in which to sell their products as a method of relief. 

The Bank also tied up with Maersk as a means to support exporters and to benefit exporters with services and expertise in the shipping sector, in addition to the MoU signed between NDB and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board as a means to support exporters and innovators. Through this, NDB will be linking the Bank’s customers with EDB and directing them to the ‘2000 New Exporter Development Program’ which will then assist customers to develop their capacity, product and market of each business.

The Bank was crowned as Sri Lanka’s Best Bank 2021 by the prestigious Global Finance Magazine of USA, fresh on the heels of being recognised as The Bank of the Year Sri Lanka, by The Banker Magazine UK. NDB Bank is the fourth largest listed bank in Sri Lanka and the parent company of the NDB Group. The only financial services conglomerate in Sri Lanka, NDB Group is uniquely positioned towards assisting the growth and development of the Sri Lankan capital market to provide its customers seamless access to the product and service offerings of all its group companies.

USAID is the development agency of the United States Government responsible for foreign aid. USAID has provided development and humanitarian assistance worldwide for 60 years. The US Government has invested over Rs. 350 billion ($ 2 billion) to benefit the people of Sri Lanka since 1956. To find out more about USAID’s work in Sri Lanka, please visit usaid.gov/sri-lanka.