Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka – Indumala’s story

Video | 25 February 2020

Indumala started her business small scale in Sri Lanka and has developed it to greater heights today. The demand from her clients prompted her to expand her business to Colombo with support from ADB’s Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit project and by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

Transcript

"We design sarees and thought it appropriate to have a salon to dress brides."

Indumala Rajapaksha

Sarees and Salon

Kandy and Colombo

"I started this business with Rs.8,000/- and developed it to a higher level.

Being a woman is no hindrance to becoming an entrepreneur."

Kandy District, Central Sri Lanka

Only 36% of women are employed in the district.

To address this, the government is encouraging female entrepreneurship.

But start up and business expansion require capital and know-how.

ADB is providing support for both under its Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit project working alongside the government and 10 commercial banks and supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

Woman Entrepreneur tells her story

"Initially, my customers were from Kandy and the surrounding areas.

My customers increased, and I started getting them from Colombo, Galle, and Matara.

I saw the necessity to have another salon in Colombo.

I did not have sufficient funds to open a salon in Colombo.

I went to the Commercial Bank for a loan. The Manager informed us about the ADB financing.

They provided us a grant of Rs.2 million and a loan of Rs. 8 million under the ADB project.

With this I opened the Colombo branch, with a salon and a showroom.

The brides who come to us are increasingly demanding our designed sarees.

Our saree production has also increased.

I had to employ more people.

I employed 25 more. 22 of them are women.

I currently employ more than 45 people."

With We-Fi support, the ADB project aims to foster a more supportive environment for women entrepreneurs and generate more opportunities for women in Sri Lanka.