Consolidating its efforts to revive the economy at the grassroots, HNB PLC, allocated Rs.10 million as a grant fund for 100 microfinance entrepreneurs under its flagship ‘Oba Venuwen Api’ initiative to rebuild their businesses.
Established by the HNB Sustainability Foundation, the grant aims to provide upto Rs. 100,000 as financial assistance to select microfinance customers, enabling them to strengthen their businesses, and ultimately working towards achieving SME status.
“In a year marked by extraordinary challenges, this initiative is essential for businesses seeking capital to re-establish their operations. With our decades-long commitment to microfinance and the SME sector, we recognise the importance of scaling up our support, providing financial assistance and enhancing financial literacy to uplift grassroots entrepreneurs. We expect our customers will make optimal use of this grant, whether for working capital, recapitalising their business, or getting back on their feet,” HNB MD/CEO Jonathan Alles said.
Working through the well-established Gami Pubudwa network, HNB has disbursed Rs. 30 million to 300 microfinance customers across the island since the fund’s inception in 2020. Supporting critical sectors through the initiative, the bank disbursed close to 70% of the grant fund to entrepreneurs in the agricultural (25%), manufacturing (46%) and other industries (29%) industries.
“Empowering grassroots entrepreneurs isn’t just a mission; it is our ethos. We envision long-term growth and resilience for our customers through this initiative as it sows the seeds of sustainable entrepreneurship, all while nurturing a strong sense of community and empowerment at the centre of our efforts,” HNB DGM Sustainability & Corporate Communication L. Chiranthi Cooray said.
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