Sri Lanka’s most innovative bank, HNB PLC, celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020 with a special announcement for all women looking to establish or expand their business.
Throughout the week following IWD 2020 (10 – 16 March), HNB has pledged to set up Women Friendly SME desks across the entirety of its extensive Customer Service Centre network, with the goal of encouraging a new wave of grassroots female entrepreneurship across the island.
As a result, any woman seeking advice on everything from registering a company to securing a loan, building financial literacy, and even establishing new lines of export-focused business can contact or visit any HNB Customer Service Centre and be guaranteed a 1:1 consultation and personalised service during the month of March.
“While women make up a little over half of our nation’s population, they only account for approximately 36% of labour force participation. Meanwhile only 10% of the SME sector is comprised of women. It is an unfortunate reality that women in our society are actively hindered from reaching their full potential, due to archaic ideas that have been imposed on them that discourage them from getting employed and gaining financial independence,” says Sanjay Wijemanne, HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking & SME.
“If our nation has any chance of securing sustainable economic development, we must urgently rectify this disparity, and we need to start by creating a level playing field for every woman who seeks to choose their own path in life –be it personally or professionally. With the establishment of women- friendly SME desks in all of our branches, HNB expresses its total and unwavering commitment to serving as a partner in progress to each and every aspiring Sri Lankan female entrepreneur. We stand with you, and we are ready to serve,” Sanjay Wijemanne also stated.
Consequently, between March 10 and 16, 2020, HNB will be offering a host of special offers on SME products and services for all women entrepreneurs in order to assist them take their business to new heights. Special discounts will also be offered to women-led SMEs looking to leverage online B2B platforms to connect with international markets.