Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka – Ruchirani Munasinghe's story
Video | 19 May 2020
- Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs benefit from ADB and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) – Ruchirani Munasinghe's story.
- Ruchirani Munasinghe obtains knowledge and financing support in her guava cultivation business with the assistance of ADB's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit project and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).
Ruchirani Munasinghe cultivates guava in Anuradhapura district, North-Central Sri Lanka. Ruchirani attended a training program conducted by ADB and obtained financing from ADB's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit project and by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi). With this support, Ruchirani was able to expand her cultivation area, adopt better agricultural practices, create employment, and increase her guava production.
I wanted to start a business of my own. This area is conducive for guava cultivation.
I rented two acres of land and started guava cultivation.
Anuradhapura district, North-Central Sri Lanka
Only 46.7% 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
I received advice from the agricultural instructor of the area.
The agricultural instructor advised me to attend a training program by the Asian Development Bank.
ADB’s training program invited bank officials. I learned a lot about management there.
After the training I went to several banks with my business proposal to borrow. I wasn’t afraid to negotiate.
Ruchirani obtained a loan and grant under the ADB project through the Regional Development Bank.
I received Rs.800,000/- 30% of it was a grant.
I expanded the cultivation by another 2 acres and adopted better agricultural practices.
Initially I had 2 employees. Now I have 6 female employees.
I also have 2 men who are permanent employees.
Now, I also supply fruit to the Colombo Economic Centre.
Exporters of Guava also purchase from me.
Motivated by her early success, Ruchirani plans to penetrate export markets …
… and generate more employment in her local community.
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.