Thursday, 08 April 2021 14:03

 Equity Fund provides seed capital for SMEs Featured

Sri Lanka Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) will be getting seed capital from an equity fund which was set up recently.

This was revealed at meeting of a delegation of the CA Sri Lanka SME Task Force with State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal, at the ministry recently.

The CA Sri Lanka SME Task Force was established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) to develop the business acumen of the SMEs and to enhance their ability to better access to finance and contribute to national development in partnership with AAT Sri Lanka.

The Task Force conducts a unique mentoring program to develop SMEs selected by SDB Bank which works as a partner to this program facilitated by regular visits to the business establishments of those entrepreneurs by the members of CA Sri Lanka and AAT Sri Lanka which also joined the program.

These finance professionals work with the entrepreneurs for a period of one year on voluntary basis.

This was the first time in the history that the finance professionals came forward voluntarily to contribute to the national development through the development of SME sector. T

his unique development concept could be expanded in the Asia pacific region and other parts of the world.

The delegation was headed by Lakshman Abeysekera, Chairman, CA Sri Lanka SME Task Force.

Minister Cabraal is a past President of CA Sri Lanka, South Asian Federation of Accountants and served as a pioneer member and vice president of AAT Sri Lanka at the inception of the organization.

The Minister was impressed with the innovative initiatives by finance professionals towards national development through development of SME sector where 52% of the GDP contribution and more than 45% of the employment is generated.

SME Task Force is promoting cash flow-based lending to SME sector against collateral-based lending. The Mentoring program would establish a governance framework for SMEs and create social capital for entrepreneurs to be eligible for capital both loans and equity.

The Minister further said that he will take steps to establish suitable Equity Funds to support these entrepreneurs in providing seed capital and the professionals assigned by CA Sri Lanka SME Task Force who work with these entrepreneurs.

The fund would be managed by a group of independent prominent innovative professionals. Minister requested the delegation to develop a concept paper and assured an early implementation of this needy proposal.


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