SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IN SRI LANKA
World Vision is creating opportunities for private investors to support promising small and growing businesses, in turn creating new economic opportunities for poor communities.
In Sri Lanka, World Vision will support the growth of 96 small and growing businesses to benefit 1,400 smallholder farmer households in the North Western Province by 2018.
Accessing finance is a significant challenge for small and growing businesses (SGBs) in Sri Lanka. Research conducted by VisionFund Lanka (World Vision’s microfinance subsidiary) in April 2015 identified that Sri Lankan SGBs require credit amounts beyond the limits of microfinance loans to achieve scale.
However, these businesses struggle to access loans from commercial banks given their lack of credit history, little collateral and geographical remoteness.
This pilot will provide increased loans (up to $US20,000) and business training, coaching and mentoring tailored to meet the needs of suitable businesses.
Participating businesses will be selected from existing clients and those working alongside producer groups that World Vision is already supporting through other programs. A due diligence process will be used to determine the social and environmental outcomes that can be achieved through scaling each business.
The project will specifically target women-led businesses and those that interact with smallholder farmers (for example, as employees, customers or suppliers) to improve the livelihoods of people who are poor.
World Vision has a long history of improving the productivity and market access of smallholder farmers. This project builds on that foundation by working with the small and growing businesses that smallholder farmer livelihoods often depend upon , while developing a pipeline of SGBs suitable for impact investment and venture philanthropy capital.