Alliance Finance launches micro finance initiative to help low income earners

Friday, 20 September 2013 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Cheranka Mendis Alliance Finance, Sri Lanka’s third oldest finance company, expanded its portfolio of products and services on Wednesday by introducing micro finance, targeting the lower income community of the country. Aimed at uplifting the livings standards as well as the economic status of the said category of the population, micro finance will promote entrepreneurship among the community. Launching the program with the disbursement of loans to a number of women recognised as entrepreneurs from various parts of the country, the company announced that the venture was a clear demonstration of its commitment to uplift the living standards of the people and contribute to the economic growth of the country, as well as the sustainable growth of the organisation. “We are confident that the micro finance venture will be a successful one as it underlines the company’s commitment to pursue a triple bottom line approach,” Alliance Finance Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Romani De Silva said. “This is part of the company’s plan to achieve greater economic and social inclusion.” As a company that pioneered the now popular business of financing three-wheeler drivers – a part of the community that was deemed non-credit worthy – proving the parties that initially gave the idea a thumbs-down wrong, the new venture will bring in a fresh change to the company as well as the four generations of loyal clientele. “This (three-wheeler finance) is today among the most sought after in higher purchasing and leasing business,” he asserted. “The new venture will further express our care and our commitment to be a friend for the smaller people.” De Silva added: “This is a form pledge for social entrepreneurship development. The company will allocate a fair amount of resources to develop this sector through a variety of activities in plan.” The goal is to turn the smaller entrepreneurial efforts in to large scale entrepreneurship. Alliance Finance will leverage its wide geographic footprint through the service centres to reach the areas of the country not being served and categorised as unbanked. Based on comprehensive research, the financial advantages presented through the venture would include sustainable income generation and improved living standards. “Sustainability would be ensured through financial literacy and advanced livelihood training, improved business skills and acumen and entrepreneurship and business development training,” Head of Micro Finance and Chief Continuous Improvement Officer Andrew Samuel said. He noted that based on the research carried out prior to setting up the new venture an extensive plan has been prepared to help develop the rural sector of Sri Lanka. Among the highly desired outcomes will be the social development which will be brought about by capacity building and a focus on empowering women, environmental and social development, efficient household management and an active village economy bringing more opportunities for investment. Samuel asserted that the company will be taking steps to formulate training courses for employees to address these issues in a sensitive and practical manner. “We will also partner with a globally recognised rating agency to ensure it is on par with international standards pertaining to the micro finance industry.” Pix by Upul Abayasekera