Utilising microfinance to full capacity – Sri Lanka

January 4, 2013

Sri Lanka Microfinance, 4th January 2013

Utilising microfinance to full

capacity – Sri Lanka

By Rashika Fazali
A by-product of the Daya Group of Companies, Bimputh Finance PLC strongly follows in the footsteps of Nobel Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus who developed the award winning concept of microfinance.

Bimputh Finance was established in the latter part of 2007 as a small operation. Since then, they have expanded their business to 13 branches spanning from Sevanagala, Ampara, Dehiattakandiya and to other eastern areas with a dedicated staff of 115. However, the three branches located in Jaffna, Panadura and Negombo mainly deal with microfinance.
Speaking to Bimputh Finance CEO and Director D.T. Kingsley Bernard, he stated that they believe in helping the low-income people with a motto that proves it: ‘the strength of the rural economy’.
Following are the excerpts from the interview:

Q: How did the idea to start a finance company come to be?
A: Our chairman Daya Gamage was confronted with a lot of difficulties in obtaining loans from banks. With that experience, in the initial stages of business, he has had an idea of setting up a financial institution which would give loans to small and medium entrepreneurs with less consideration at their collateral and repayment ability, going purely on the basis of whether these projects were viable and whether they could be retained.

Q: What kind of financial business does Bimputh Finance deal with?
A: Since we are a fully fledged financial institution, we are allowed to give loans, leases and take deposits. We have leasing and hire purchasing facilities as well as the authority to change foreign money. However, if you compare our institution with a bank, we cannot take current accounts. Other than the current accounts, we can maintain all the other aspects.

Q: Who is your clientele composed of?
A: Altogether we have a clientele of around 15,000 out of which 10,000 clients fall under the microfinance category. Not all 10,000 are given loans at the moment. There are a set of people who are in the waiting list.
We target the people who are not in a position to obtain loans from the bank. We have given loans to small and medium scale entrepreneurs especially in the eastern province, in the Sevanagala area and to the small farmers.

Q: How much is your loan portfolio?
A:We have a loan portfolio of about Rs. 650 million out which Rs. 150 million is allocated for microfinance.

Q: For whom is microfinance? And how does microfinance work?
A:Microfinance was introduced in Bangladesh for women who were willing to set up their own businesses – self-employment. It is a scientific program which is linked with peace because if you have money, you have peace.
But why women? They are more responsible than men. They run the family very well and when they take a loan they are under the obligation to repay it. In third world countries, 99% of activities are done by women.
These microfinance loans start at the level of Rs. 25,000 in the first year, Rs. 50,000 in the second year and Rs. 100,000 in the last year. After that they become small entrepreneurs.
In obtaining this loan, we don’t look at their collateral. We look at the person’s capability of repaying and whether she is worthy of getting a loan as we don’t give loans for consumptions like weddings, etc. Our need is for us to know where they live, about their husbands and the kind of self-employment project they will be involved in.
Our rapport with the micro entrepreneurs is quite close because we meet them every week. Our officers go to their houses and look at their business operations. These officers also go to the village, collect the people from the vicinity and advise them. The repayment for the loan is weekly as well.
At these weekly meetings, we also mark attendance which should be more than 65% for these people to get the second loans.

Q: Tell us about a few success stories.
A: There was one lady who started her business with a loan of Rs. 3,500 to make 50 string hoppers a day. Today, she makes 10,000 string hoppers a day with a net profit of Rs. 10,000 earning herself Rs. 300,000 per month. Her husband has also joined her and now delivers string hoppers with a three-wheeler.
There was another lady who sold illicit spirits, but wanted to change her life and business. Today, she’s doing a service to the country by selling only food.

Q: Has there ever been a failure in repayments?
A: There have been occasions. When it comes to microfinance, we have none. But in other loans, we have a non-repayment rate of 15% to 18%.

Q: What is different about Bimputh Finance?
A: Other than microfinance, we also have our own ATMs in Sevanagala, Ampara and Pepiliyana where we take the technology to the household.
Although we have the license, we are not into leasing very much. Yet, we try to concentrate leasing facilities for the small people like the three-wheeler drivers. Our main business strategy is to help the downtrodden people in the country while maintaining our business. We look for the low-income people because microfinance is for them.

Q: What are your future plans?
A: We are hoping to expand our microfinance operations to the rest of the branches. We are also planning to establish two new branches, one in Galle very soon and the other we haven’t decided as yet, and they will also deal with microfinance. In addition, we have plans to further develop all our branches.
We are also in the process of increasing our co-capital as per the requirement of the Central Bank where all finance companies have to increase their co-capital to Rs. 300 million. With this, we are hoping to increase our businesses in the areas where we see opportunities which will help the rural people.

Pasted from <http://www.ft.lk/2013/01/03/utilising-microfinance-to-full-capacity/#more-128248>

What would you do to ‘Be The Change’ – POVERTY ALLEVIATION

December 2, 2011

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus

will be the Keynote Speaker at the One-Day Seminar on

“THE ROLE OF THE CORPORATE SECTOR AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION”.

He will be speak on his novel concept of Social Business.

Also featuring, Head of Tata Chemicals Limited Ms. Alka Talwar, who will speak

about two of TATA’s more innovative CSR projects.

Top Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs/business Persons will take part in

panel disuccsions.

The even has been organised by the

South Asia Policy and Research Institute – SAPRI

Date:      9th December 2011 – 9.30 a.m. onwards

Venue:  Galle Face Hotel – Colombo

Tickets:  Rs 7,500/- per head

For Tickets

Khema Senanayake – SAPRI – Executive Secretary

15/2, 27th Lane, off 5th Lane,

Colombo 3

Phone: 011 257 6666 or 011 257 6555

Mobile : – 077 911 9209

sapri.office@gmail.com

“Divi Neguma” to enhance livelihoods of 1.4 m households

March 23, 2011

March 3, 2011 

 Project to link 17 ministries and 50, 000 public officials for implementation in 14, 000 Grama Sevaka divisions and first phase to be in agriculture to reduce inflation

By Uditha Jayasinghe

The Economic Development Ministry yesterday launched a new programme to enhance livelihoods that will target 1.4 million households with the resources of 17 ministries and almost 50, 000 public officials at ground level.

Titled “Divi Neguma” it aims to increase production in “Domestic Economic Units” countrywide in three areas, namely agriculture, industries, fisheries and dairy. Minister Basil Rajapaksa outlined the ambitious plans for the project at a press conference held to announce the programme’s official launch on 12 March.

 “We will pick 100 houses from each of the 14, 000 Grama Sevaka divisions in the country and hand them leaflets to decide what sector they want to engage in. After they have decided what they want to do the Samurdhi, Agriculture and family health officials along with the Grama Sevaka will provide knowledge to the villagers. We have already commenced training for these officials,” he explained adding that seeds and fertiliser will also be provided to those chosen for the programme. Nine ministries involved in agriculture, five in industries and three in fisheries and dairy will support the programme. Finance and Planning Ministry, Economic Development Ministry, Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry and Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry will be the other supporting partners of the programme.   

Given that the greatest need is for vegetables the government is starting on the agriculture phase initially. They will be followed by the second and third phases of industries and fisheries and dairy respectively. However a clear timeline for the commencement of phase two and three were not outlined with the intention being to concentrate on the climate to give indications of when the next two phases can get off the ground. For dairy farming and industries the government has promised livestock and loan schemes as capital investments. “At present people can get loans up to Rs.300, 000 from Samurdhi banks and we will negotiate with State banks to provide larger loans for eligible applicants under ‘Divi Naguma.’”    
   
Under the agriculture chapter the “Divi Neguma” recipient can choose between 12 types of seeds if he is residing in the low country, 6 types if from wet zone and 3 types if from up country. Other assistance will be provided by the grass root level officials.   
Structured much like the “Gama Neguma” project the “Divi Neguma” programme is expected to assist the people to expand their livelihoods and make a greater contribution to the economy. However the amount of funding that will be poured in by the government was not mentioned by the minister, yet in the previous programme each Grama Sevaka division was granted Rs.1 million totalling a hefty Rs.14 billion for the project.

 

Source: http://www.ft.lk/2011/03/03/%e2%80%9cdivi-neguma%e2%80%9d-to-enhance-livelihoods-of-1-4-m-households/

Evaluate poverty alleviation programmes

March 23, 2011

March 8, 2011

A NEW development programme is to be launched by the Government late next week to enhance livelihoods that will target 1.4 million households with the resources of 17 ministries and almost 50,000 public officials at ground level.
Backed by the Economic Development Ministry, the new programme is titled ‘Divi Neguma’. It aims to increase production in ‘Domestic Economic Units’ countrywide in three areas, namely agriculture, industries, fisheries and dairy.

Hundred houses will be picked from each of the 14,000 Grama Sevaka Divisions in the country and leaflets will be distributed to decide what sector they want to engage in. Samurdhi, Agriculture and family health officials along with the Grama Sevaka will provide knowledge to the villagers. These officials have already commenced training. Seeds and fertiliser will also be provided to those chosen for the programme.

Nine ministries involved in agriculture, five in industries and three in fisheries and dairy will support the programme. The Finance and Planning Ministry, Economic Development Ministry, Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry and Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry will be the other supporting partners of the programme.
Given that the greatest need is for vegetables, the Government is starting on the agriculture phase initially. It will be followed by the second and third phases of industries and fisheries and dairy respectively. However, a clear timeline for the commencement of phase two and three have not been outlined. For dairy farming and industries, the Government has promised livestock and loan schemes as capital investments, while promises have been made to negotiate with State banks to provide larger loans for eligible applicants under ‘Divi Neguma’.
Structured much like the ‘Gama Neguma’ project, the ‘Divi Neguma’ programme is expected to assist the people to expand their livelihoods and make a greater contribution to the economy. Rs. 10 billion will be spent by the Government. In the previous programme each Grama Sevaka division was granted Rs. 1 million, totalling a hefty Rs. 14 billion.
State-funded programmes to alleviate poverty are important, but they also have to ensure that their targets are met. Rs. 14 billion is not a small amount of money, but there have been no post evaluation programmes to ensure that the ‘Gama Neguma’ programme achieved the desired result. Efficacy of Government programmes have to be understood before claims can be made to alleviating poverty by political parties. Not only would this give a truthful account of the state of living standards in Sri Lanka, but it will give a better understanding of how to structure future projects.
Corruption is rampant in Sri Lanka and there is little assurance that the intended funds have benefitted the people. In such a situation, it would make sense to ascertain that the funds have been used as they were intended and did not end up lining someone’s wallet. The repeated failure of Government programmes to reach their full potential is also a reason for people to distrust the State and not pay their taxes. As a result, much urban development is sidetracked or outright neglected as people try to shirk responsibility. If Sri Lanka is to be a truly developed nation, then it has to embrace good governance with all its requirements for transparency and efficacy.

 

Source: http://www.ft.lk/2011/03/08/evaluate-poverty-alleviation-programmes/

Sri Lanka banana waste for value added products

March 19, 2011
Mar 19, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka, which has 53 varieties of banana, has got Indian expertise under a United Nations funded project to help farmers make money by using waste from banana plants, officials said.
The United Nations Development Programme is supporting a project to convert banana waste into value added products like handicrafts and even fabrics.Although large quantities of banana are harvested, the plants are not fully tapped and the stem goes as waste, ministry of traditional industries and small enterprise development secretary V Sivagnanasothy said.

Two Indian experts will teach farmers to convert waste into products so they become self-employed under the project.

“It will be a money-spinning activity and help rural masses to generate income and self employment,” Sivagnanasothy told a news conference.

“India is already doing it – converting fibre into handicrafts and other products like wall hangings, table mats, handbags, key tags, and even fabrics.”

The UNDP supported pilot project will be launched in north-central Anuradhapura, southern Embilipitiya and northern Jaffna.

http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/fullstory.php?nid=2090002528

CEFE TRAINING OF TRAINERS COURSES ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT (ED) AND MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISE (MSME) PROMOTION

March 11, 2011

CEFE NET SRI LANKA is a non for profit association of CEFE trainers which is conducting specialized training programmes using CEFE methodology in different areas of Entrepreneurship and Management.

CEFE Training of Trainers (TOT)” Course is on “Entrepreneurship Development and Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Promotion” and to become a professional trainer with an opportunity to get linked and absorbed in to an international circle of accredited trainers.

The applications close on 8th April 2011 and the course will commence on 22nd April 2011. Full payment should be made by 17th of April 2011.

For any clarification please contact CEFE NET Sri Lanka.

33/1, Thimbirigasyaya Place

Colombo-05, Sri Lanka

 Tel:  0114 – 527521
 Fax:  0112 – 681376
 E-mail: info@cefenetsrilanka.com
Web: www.cefenetsrilanka.com

  

01.  Target Groups

                     i.            Those who are engaged in promotion of micro, small and medium enterprise development

                   ii.            Aspiring trainers in the field of entrepreneurship development training in vocational training institutes and private training providers

                  iii.            Officers in the Business development service organizations

                 iv.            NGO activist in the field of  livelihood development promotion activities

                   v.            Trainers in the field of Human resource development in micro, small and medium scale enterprises

                 vi.            Training Managers, and training officers who are conducting training to the company’s employees

02.  Objectives

On completion of the TOT program the participants will be able to:

  • o   Enhance the knowledge in Entrepreneurship development and Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise development promotion
  • o   Enhance the training skills and competencies
  • o   Meet the prevailing demand by increasing the number of competent trained personal in CEFE- ED and MSME promotion.

 

Annexture (1) 

CEFE ToT Application Form (4)

Microfinance leaders conference

March 10, 2011

Hatton National Bank Marketing and Retail Banking Deputy General Manager Chandula Abeywickrema who is also the Chairman of the Banking With The Poor Network was among the 25 microfinance leaders around the world who were invited to this advanced leadership initiative where skills and exchange of ideas took place during the week long program which was held in Philadelphia from January 16 to 22, sharing the best practices and learning the latest leadership strategies for guiding microfinance Institutions in a challenging global economic landscape.

The Centre for Microfinance Leadership in strong partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, which heavily subsidized the cost created this unique opportunity for the microfinance leaders in the respective countries and regions in the world to reflect on the state of the industry, leverage and shared experience to respond to the dynamic conditions of the microfinance environment.

Reflecting on the current industry challenges and innovations that require in the global frontier with a clear emphasis on practical and actionable tools that will enable the global microfinance industry to lead in empowering billions of people who need to be economically enriched.

Centre for Leadership and Change Management Director Michael Useem and the Management at Wharton Professor has said “this is an extraordinary group of leaders of Microfinance Institutions around the world that has been assembled to understand the rapidly evolving market and to explore solutions pragmatically and take critical leadership initiatives in the midst of diverse challenges that are being faced by the industry”.

http://www.dailynews.lk/2011/02/22/bus24.asp

First state-of-the-art milling rice flour factory opens

January 27, 2011

27th January 2011

 

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under its Viskam Loan Scheme has facilitated to set up the first rice flour factory with latest state-of-the-art milling technology in Sri Lanka.

The CBSL, in association with several key stakeholders and two state banks, is currently promoting rice based industries in the country with a view to utilise excess rice to produce value added agro based products.

As estimated by the Department of Agriculture, the paddy production in the country will increase substantially once paddy lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are cultivated totally.  Hence, the excess rice production needs to be diverted to produce other value added rice based products in order to maintain market stability with a remunerative price for the farmers in the regions.  Since it is believed that rice based products are healthier than wheat flour based products, establishment of rice flour industries would bring multiple benefits for the country.

Accordingly, under the Viskam Loan Scheme, the CBSL has granted refinance loans to two state banks to set up two such factories using latest state-of-the-art milling technology to produce rice flour that contains particles with less than 120 micron in size which is ideal for production of confectionary and bakery products including bread.

Since micron size particles are very much tiny, according to the industrialists, bakers can make bread mixing up to a maximum of 80% rice flour with 20% wheat flour.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka was the chief guest at the opening ceremony at Veyangoda yesterday.

The first Rice flour industry of this nature will commence operations at Veyangoda where the industry is located and the opening ceremony is scheduled to be conducted as follows:

The Bank of Ceylon has financed this project with refinance facility available from CBSL under Viskam loan scheme.  CBSL expects to promote 25 such industries in other parts of the country.  The product has been branded as Healthy Fla by Bandara Industrial Services (Pvt) Ltd., Veyangoda.

January 21, 2011

Source: http://www.ft.lk/2011/01/21/first-state-of-the-art-milling-rice-flour-factory-opens-2/

LOLC Micro Credit secures largest micro finance Loan

January 14, 2013

LOLC Micro Credit secures the largest micro finance syndicated loan in Sri Lanka, USD 55.5Mn
January 12, 2013

Revolutionizing the Sri Lankan microfinance industry, LOLC Micro Credit Ltd, (LOMC) secured the largest syndicated loan of USD 55.5 Mn for the first time in Sri Lanka. This long term syndicated loan was facilitated by a reputed consortium of Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) from around the world.

LOMC, the microfinance arm of LOLC Group is the only leasing company that is exclusively dedicated for micro credit in the country.

Microfinance is not an uncharted territory for LOLC. With the initiation of the RERED project in 2003, LOLC has been relentlessly involved in microfinance providing ‘bespoke’ products to grass root level entrepreneurs. In 2009, LOLC carved out its micro portfolio to create a standalone microfinance institute together with FMO as an international stakeholder who has a 20% stake in LOMC.

FMO (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.), the AAA rated (S&P) Dutch Development Bank, was the lead arranger to this transaction. The other renowned participants include OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development), BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries N.V.), PROPARCO (Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique S. A. – the French Promotions Company for Economic Cooperation) and Cordiant Capital Inc. (a Canadian DFI engaged in investing in emerging markets). Cordiant made their maiden investment in Sri Lanka by participating in this syndicate loan. Most of these DFIs have a long standing relationship with LOLC. The Group has one of, if not the largest, range of external funding partners in the country, who work closely with the group in many endeavors. They consider LOLC Group not only as their preferred conduit but also as a catalyst to achieve their development and commercial goals, may it be in SME development, micro enrichment, North and East resurgence or renewable energy. Their valued contribution beyond funding has enabled the group companies to attain operational excellence, fine-tuned processes, environmental standards, early compliance, good governance and state-of-the-art IT systems.

As a case in point, FMO, plays a vital role in LOLC’s strategic thinking and has introduced many international standards over the last two and a half decades. The introduction of environmental impact assessment in credit appraisals, the mandatory emission testing for three wheelers, recycling waste water to name a few. The confidence FMO has on the group is further reflected by the fact that they are not only the equity partner of LOMC, but also an equity partner in group’s overseas investment – PRASAC – the largest micro finance institution in Cambodia and presently exploring similar opportunities in the region.

LOMC on the other hand, is one of the most preferred entities by these DFIs for many reasons. It is the largest micro financier in North and East, the largest agriculture equipment provider in the country, made a reputation for empowering women entrepreneurs, renowned for its distinctive business model and recruitment policy of fostering indigenous school leavers. Its unique Group loan model is another attractive feature. Designed exclusively for women with rapid step up loan scheme, 95% of the borrowers graduate to individual level, to become an SME entrepreneur in less than three years. The International funders are fascinated by the positive contribution made by this product and the industry best NPL ratio maintained in these group loans, reflect the commitment and ability of working women in Sri Lanka. Thus, LOMC has become the most sought-after microfinance institution in Sri Lanka to the extent that its portfolio is 100% funded by foreign funding lines.

As a result, LOMC can comfortably withstand the rapid growth momentum required by the microfinance industry in Sri Lanka. Today, LOMC stands out not only as the largest private sector provider of microfinance in the country with an outreach of 150,000 active borrowers, $ 110 Mn loan book and $ 6Mn – pre tax profit in the FY 2011/12, but also as a model microfinance house with high compliance and governance. LOMC’s unique business model is also due to the fact that it is empowered with a low cost channel network, a strategic partnership with Sri Lanka Post, resulting more than 137 branches well positioned across the island.

This syndicate loan is given in USD and the company as a policy secures all its foreign currency exposures 100% through a back to back hedging mechanism which is also a mandated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The signing ceremony between LOMC and FMO together with the participating lenders took place on the 12th of November 2012, at an official signing ceremony held at the FMO headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherland. Ishara Nanayakkara, Deputy Chairman of the LOLC Group represented LOMC while Ahdi Al-Hunaif (Investment Officer, OFID), Betrand Milliot (CIO, Cordiant), Carole Mamman (Manager Financial Sector, BIO), Claude Périou (CEO, Proparco), Nico Pijl, (Chief Risk & Finance Officer, FMO), Lucas Lustermans (Legal Counsel, FMO), Matthijs Egelie (Investment Officer, FMO), Bas Rekvelt (Senior Syndications Officer, FMO), Tony Bakels (Manager Financial Institutions Asia, FMO), Amelie July (Head of Banking, Proparco) and Arno de Vette (Senior Officer Equity, FMO) were also present.

The funds raised from this syndicated senior debt facility will be channeled towards the development of the micro population of Sri Lanka, which according to the GTZ study (2008) represents 50% of untapped households in the country.

LOMC is poised to serve the micro clientele in the country to alleviate poverty and uplift the living standards of a community that once considered as “unbankable” by most of the formal lending channels. This is a realistic dream for the LOLC Group, considering the revolution it made three decades ago in pioneering leasing and factoring to the SME sector, the most important segment to the national economy.

source: http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=70235

Berendina Micro Finance Institute Partners with NDB

January 4, 2013

Berendina Micro Finance Institute Partners with NDB

3 October 2012
source: http://www.dailynews.lk/2012/10/03/bus15.asp

Berendina Microfinance Institute (BMI), has initiated a new funding partnership with the National Development Bank recently. This has been the first borrowing which BMI had obtained from any commercial bank to finance its loan portfolio.

BMI initiated negotiations with the NDB in April 2012. During this period, NBD conducted an assessment study by visiting the BMI Head Office and having discussions with the Board of Directors and Senior Manages. BMI would be using this loan to finance the 4th cycle of business development loans, which include loans or new business ventures and enhancement of present business activities.

Chairman Dulan de Silva and Director Anura Atapattu endorsed the offer on behalf of BMI in July 2012 at the NDB head office. The loan amount Rs. 10 Million obtained under this facility with a repayment period of five years, in catered through a special loan scheme for small and medium enterprises.

BMI has started its operations in 2007, with the provision of credit services to the rural and plantation communities. During past 5 years, BMI has successfully obtained significant growth and client coverage in terms of depth and spread of outreach without drifting from the original mission of poverty reduction and providing prosperous living condition for the low income segment of the population. Currently, BMI implements its services in five districts, namely Anuradhapura, Kandy, Kegalle, Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee, through its 17 branches.

BMI has made a strong impact on Microfinance activity by opening its branches in remote areas such as Serunuwera, Thambalgama and Kahatagasdigaya. It made significant progress on its borrowers and improving their businesses by providing training in business skills like marketing, account management, costing and also skills improvement trainings in a range of fields. BMI is the first MFI to provide loans to plantation workers through the plantation cooperatives managed by plantation companies. As of end July, 2012 there are 2095 clusters with 47,742 active borrowers and an outstanding loan portfolio of Rs. 954,417,532.

Creating awareness about development

January 4, 2013

Sri Lanka Microfinance, January 4th, 2013

Enabling dialogues: Creating awareness about development

The Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association (LMFPA) is pleased to announce the successful completion of a series of 15 discussion forums, titled Enabling Dialogue, which were held in different towns and cities in Sri Lanka over the course of a year.

The Lanka Micro Finance Practitioners’ Association (LMFPA), as the apex body of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), in its bid to address and create awareness about development and the current status of the industry, including best practices commenced a series of Enabling Dialogues.

The purpose of the Enabling Dialogue programmes was to create awareness among microfinance practitioners in Sri Lanka on the current status of the local microfinance context, its challenges and how to address them effectively.

“Enabling dialogue sessions helped us in many ways, bringing current topics and issues to the table for interactive discussions, understanding the field level, especially the regional level, making stakeholders aware about potential opportunities and changes in the sector.

Further, it was a great opportunity for LMFPA to receive inputs from practitioners for upcoming publications by the LMFPA,” stated Imran Nafeer, Secretary of LMFPA.

Enabling dialogue programmes brought together stakeholders in the MF sector such as microfinance practitioners, technical service providers and facilitators to discuss a range of topics such as gender equality in microfinance, how to avoid over indebtedness, social performance management of MFIs, financial literacy and client protection principles, micro insurance and responsible financing.

These forums not only helped the participants gain greater insight into the status of the MF sector in Sri Lanka, share experiences and lessons learned; but also facilitated the establishment of strong relationships among the stakeholders.

Enabling dialogue programmes were previously conducted only in Colombo but then moved on to areas such as Kandy, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Batticaloa, Badulla and Jaffna. It was felt that these forums would better benefit the MFIs that are operating in the regional level. Five special Enabling dialogues were held in Jaffna alone because it is a newly emerging financial market.

“We felt that Enabling dialogue was a very productive tool for LMFPA in creating and establishing a conducive environment for the microfinance sector in Sri Lanka. We would like to continue similar programmes in the future, especially to make practitioners aware about the upcoming Microfinance Act,” said LMFPA President Channa Jayatilleke.

Source: http://www.ceylontoday.lk/22-17074-news-detail-enabling-dialogues-creating-awareness-about-development.html

 

Barendina takes top notch motivational training to rural areas

January 4, 2013

Sri  Lanka Microfinance, 4th January 2013

Barendina takes top notch

motivational training to rural

areas

Barendina Microfinance Institute (BMI) recently organized a Motivation and Business Victory Workshop for its microfinance clients.

This workshop was conducted by the popular Motivation, Mind Power and Leadership Training guru, Dr. Kuma Iddamallena. This training workshop was conducted at the Town Hall Auditorium of the Kegalle Municipal Council. More than 350 clients from Dehiowita, Bulathkohupitiya, Mawanella, Galigamuwa, Yatiyanthota and Ginigathhena branches of BMI actively participated in this workshop which was carried out as a full day programme on 15 November 2012.

Berendina Microfinance Institute (BMI), the leading microfinance service provider organized this workshop with the objective of changing its clients’ mentality from bad word attitude to positive hope and to start new businesses or developing their existing micro businesses. BMI expects successful businesses will eventually improve the living conditions of poor and make them more productive towards their personal development.

Commencing the workshop, the Chairman of the BMI Dulan De Silva stated that BMI organized workshop such as this to make sure that its clients get the same training and facilities to improve their skills which were enjoyed by the rich community in urban areas. He also stressed that it is not the intention of BMI to just give away micro credit to people but want to make it sure its clients make the facility useful and improve their skills, businesses and living conditions.

Commencing his workshop, Kuma Iddamallena narrated the story of Solchiro Honda, founder of the world famous Honda Motor Company Ltd., and how he failed on many attempts to establish his business but never gave up to rise to successful business.

He elaborated on how positive energy brings better results in life and the connection among dreams, action plans and successful implementation by setting one’s goals and targets. He asked the participants to write down their present obstacles and discussed with others to find practical solutions. By doing this, the participants were taught about the importance of paradigm shift along with setting targets for the next three years. Iddamallena emphasized the important factors when setting targets which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound, which is called SMART module.

In the second session, Iddamallena focused more on the theme “Winning business.” He started with emphasizing the importance of effort, management plan and promotion and marketing and the necessary skills needed to oversee those aspects. He pointed out that successful businesses depend on quality of the product, service offered by the establishment and the speed of those services offered to clients. He explained how creative thinking, new techniques, dedication and hard work can make an existing business more successful than staying in the same level.

 Differentiating traits and thinking

He elaborated to the participants the difference between the traits and thinking of successful people and people who are miserable in their lives. He proved changing ones’ personality traits can make a real difference in any business. He also encouraged participants to write down the learning points from their past mistakes and what solutions were identified to implement to overcome those hurdles. He concluded the session by teaching the participants how to formulate practical, productive and successful action plans for their existing businesses as well as for new businesses.

At the end of the workshop, the participants expressed their gratitude for BMI for organizing such a productive motivational programme, which really inspired them to look and work hard to make their businesses successful in the coming future. While thanking BMI, Ranatunga from Bulathkohupitiya said that with the knowledge he gained from the workshop, he would open his new grocery shop before December 2012 while continuing his profession as a mason.

Lasantha from Ruwanwella echoed the same spirit saying that she is leaving the venue with positive hopes and energy that she will restart the closed grocery business of hers once again and correct all her past mistakes to make her business successful in future.

Chamila Indunil from Mawanella thanked BMI for encouraging women like her to start into new ventures and said she is confident of becoming one of the successful businesswomen by putting into practice all the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop.

Pasted from <http://www.ceylontoday.lk/22-21098-news-detail-barendina-takes-top-notch-motivational-training-to-rural-areas.html>

 

Poverty down in February – Govt.

March 23, 2011

March 17, 2011 

In keeping with the trend of reduction in poverty in Sri Lanka, the average income levels in nine districts in six provinces exceeded the poverty line of Rs. 3,328, in February 2011.

 According to the Department of Census and Statistics, the poverty line at national level is the minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill basic needs.

 Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts in the Western Province rank highest above the poverty line by personal expenditures per month of Rs. 3,708, Rs. 3,526 and Rs. 3,616 respectively.

Personal expenditures in the other districts above the poverty level are: Kandy (Rs. 3,410), Nuwara Eliya (Rs. 3,566), Galle (Rs. 3,422), Puttalam (Rs. 3,350), Badulla (Rs. 3,406) and Kegalle (Rs. 3,408).
Poverty levels in Matale (Rs. 3,295), Matara (Rs. 3,261), Hambantota (Rs. 3,208) Kurunegala (Rs. 3,250), Anuradhapura (Rs. 3,155), Polonnaruwa (Rs. 3,286), Moneragala (Rs. 3,152) and Rathnapura (Rs. 3,320) rank just below the poverty line.
The poverty line at national level also rose rapidly since the 2002 level of Rs. 1,423. It was Rs. 2,845 in 2008, Rs. 2,942 in 2009, Rs. 3,117 in 2010, Rs. 3,027 in 2010 May, Rs. 3,098 in 2010 June, Rs. 3,097 in 2010 July, Rs. 3,111 in 2010 August, Rs. 3,141 in 2010 September, Rs. 3,178 in 2010 October, Rs. 3,213 in 2010 November and Rs. 3,249 in 2010 December and Rs. 3,290, in January 2011.
These figures do not cover the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Souce: http://www.ft.lk/2011/03/17/poverty-down-in-february-%E2%80%93-govt/VN:F [1.9.7_1111]

 


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