Schemes and services for encouraging women entrepreneurs are as follows:
Business Development Services (BDS)
These are the non-financial services which include services like training, counselling, advice, information provision facilitating access to markets, improving availability of inputs, improving management and technical skills, assistance to access to appropriate financial services, technology development and transfer of technology to entrepreneurs. These services are provided by the programmes initiated by both Government and non-Government institutions. These programmes include Vocational training by the Ministry of Tertiary Education, training by Ministries of Rural Industries, training and technological services by IDB, Small and Medium Enterprise Developers(SMED) project, Business incubator services by UNIDO, services offered by the Sri Lanka Business Development Centre, assistance with marketing by Laksala and the Sri Lanka Handicraft Board.
Various loan schemes to encourage female entrepreneurs in North and East
Deputy Finance and International Monetary Co-operation Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said in Parliament that both government and private sector organizations had implemented various loan schemes to promote entrepreneurial opportunities for the women in the North and East which include Entrepreneur loan scheme and the ‘Liya Isura’ interest free loan scheme for women. The women entrepreneurs could get interest free loans of a maximum of Rs 250,000 irrespective of their age and without the need for collateral.
‘Vanitha Navodya’ credit scheme under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment and financial contribution from the United Nations Development Fund for Women has been laid down for the women who faced with economic difficulties due to natural disasters such as flood, landslides, hurricanes and typhoons and due to war-like situations prevailed in certain areas. Under the loan schemes, a very large number of women are benefitted with credit facilities through state banks during the past five years. The Bank of Ceylon provided loan facilities to 7,349 women entrepreneurs while the People’s Bank had provided 62,163 female entrepreneurs with loan facilities. In addition, the Regional Development Bank (39,279 beneficiaries), Sri Lanka Savings Bank (31,269 beneficiaries) and the Lankaputhra Development Bank (1,261 beneficiaries) also have helped women entrepreneurs in the North and the East.
National Policy Framework for Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Development
The vision of this policy framework is to create significant number of globally competitive, dynamic, innovative, technologically driven, eco-friendly and sustainable Small and Medium scale Enterprise(SME) that contribute significantly to the national economic development. Its services include enabling environment, technology and innovation, entrepreneurial culture and skills development, access to finance, market facilitation, research and development, resource efficiency and regional balance.
National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA)
Its vision is to create a dynamic and sustainable, international competitive enterprise sector, that will contribute to the economic, political and social aspirations of Sri Lanka. Its aims to facilitate and support the development, growth and competitiveness of the Sri Lankan Enterprises.
National Human Resource and Employment Policy (2012)
This policy is applied in Sri Lanka which is also said the “wonder of Asia” with an objective of making all persons of Sri Lanka who are of working age globally competitive and multi-skilled, and enjoy full decent and productive employment with higher incomes in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.