The Commercial Bank of Ceylon (ComBank) recently conducted an awareness programme for micro and small entrepreneurs in the Neluwa area in the Galle District, to empower them with the knowledge essential for the growth of their businesses.
Conducted under the ‘Dirishakthi Sustainable Entrepreneurship Development’ initiative of the Bank, the programme held at the auditorium of the Neluwa Divisional Secretariat Office focussed on financial discipline, investment methods, financial fraud, the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka (CRIB) credit report process and the Bank’s development lending products for entrepreneurs.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr Jinadasa Wettinge, Chairman of the Andaradeniya Group, who is also the Treasurer of Tea Factory Owners Association of Sri Lanka and President of the Matara District Tea Factory Owners’ Association. Several prominent local personalities including the Neluwa Divisional Secretary Mr Shantha Priyadarshana, the Assistant Director of the Small Enterprises Development Authority (SED), Galle Mr Nandalal Jayasekara and the OIC of the Neluwa Police Station Mr Ashoka Basnayaka were joined by Commercial Bank representatives including the Senior Manager of the Development Credit Department Mr Malika De Silva, the Manager of the Bank’s Neluwa Branch Mr Suranga Gamage, and the Agriculture & Microfinance Coordinator Mr K. P. N. Chamith Kumara who moderated the event.
As part of the programme, the special guests were invited to plant fruit trees in the compound of the Divisional Secretariat office, and 250 saplings of forest plants such as Kumbuk, Mee, Na, Hora, Jack, Ratadomba, Kahanda and Etamba were distributed to promote environmental sustainability.
Commercial Bank has been conducting awareness programmes for micro entrepreneurs in different sectors of business in many areas of the country for the past 12 years, and has helped more than 12,000 entrepreneurs to date through this series.
These programmes are supported by the Bank’s 19 Agriculture & Micro Finance Units which play a key role in helping the Bank to identify specific needs of entrepreneurs who require assistance to develop either their agriculture activities or micro businesses. These units are dedicated to promoting agriculture lending and micro finance.
Commercial Bank’s Agriculture & Micro Finance Units (AMFU) are located in Ratnapura, Narammala, Nawalapitiya, Marawila, Anuradhapura, Kilinochchi, Bandarawela, Wellawaya, Hingurakgoda, Galewela, Achchuveli, Vavuniya, Chenkalady, Deniyaya, Tissamaharama, Udugama, Pottuvil, Elpitiya, and Akkaraipattu.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 12 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 269 branches and 943 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.
Photo caption – The Dirishakthi programme for Neluwa’s micro and small entrepreneurs and the tree planting activity in progress.