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Sunday, 10 May 2015

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IFC and SLID to help small businesses

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) to promote improved corporate and ethical business practices for small businesses in Eastern Sri Lanka. The initiative is part of the European Union Support to District Development Program (EU-SDDP), funded by the EU and implemented by 5 UN agencies and IFC.

As part of this initiative, a seminar was held recently for 50 small and medium sized businesses in Batticaloa, a district in the East, focusing on how small businesses could conduct business better and more responsibly to spur their growth.

The seminar, organised by SLID and the Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, included presentations on the formation of a company, legal procedures of registering a company, and finance, accounting and tax issues faced by small businesses.

"Comprehensive, custom-made training programs like these help entrepreneurs and small business owners improve their corporate governance to operate more efficiently, obtain access to capital, and mitigate risk with safeguards against mismanagement" said Lilani Perera, Chief Executive Officer of SLID. "In addition to increasing access to capital for small businesses, improved corporate governance practices contribute to economic development," said IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Adam Sack.

"Increased access to capital encourages new investments, boosts economic growth, and provides employment opportunities," he said.

Such projects form an integral part of the financial and development assistance that is provided through the EU-SDDP with a grand total of EUR 60 million to support the Government of Sri Lanka's thrust for economic and social development in seven conflict-affected districts covering half a million people. The actions undertaken through this initiative are linked to three focus areas, including support to poverty reduction and provision of basic infrastructure and services for vulnerable populations, support to local economic development, and strengthening of local governance.

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