Colombo, July 9 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has granted $12.5 million to help women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka who have difficulty in accessing finance.
The Finance Ministry in a statement on Monday said that since women led small and medium enterprises face significant difficulties in accessing finance, a grant of $12.5 million will be mobilized from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.
Out of the total amount, around $9.5 million will be lent directly to business women through Sri Lankan lending institutions, Xinhua news agency reported. Grants do not have to be paid back.
The Ministry said women entrepreneurs will be given business training in former war-torn north and east and in the Uva and Sabaragamuwa provinces having high rates of poverty.
The World Bank in an earlier report urged Sri Lanka to encourage more women to work as this would not only help the country realize its economic potential but would build on its several achievements.
The report said Sri Lankan women, especially younger ones, do not sufficiently acquire marketable skills, face higher unemployment rates and receive lower wages than men.