The United States launched a new LKR 3.6 billion (USD 19.5 million) initiative to help small businesses and economically empower Sri Lankan women.
The Private Sector Development Project, which is funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide technical assistance and financing to small businesses in the tourism, technology, and commercial care industries.
It will also help Sri Lanka weather the economic impact of COVID-19 by providing much-needed financial assistance through which businesses will be able to expand job opportunities for women and increase profits thanks to better business practices.
Strengthening resilience in the face of the pandemic is a key step toward a post-COVID economic recovery.
“This project demonstrates the United States’ long-term commitment to engage the private sector in development cooperation that shape market-driven solutions to achieve sustained impacts,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Tepltiz. “Most importantly, this timely assistance will also mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka,” she said.
The initiative will promote innovation and entrepreneurship and provide incentives for Sri Lankan financial institutions to support under-served communities in rural areas throughout the country. Finally, it will encourage businesses to hire more women. Studies show that when women are economically empowered, they reinvest back into their families and communities, which drives economic growth. (Colombo Gazette)