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Sri Lanka rural businesswomen helped by Gap

Feb 10, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs in two rural districts are getting soft loans and technical help under a program support by an international apparel firm, the island's largest business chamber said. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce through its 'Youth Business Sri Lanka' program offers a concessionary credit facility for business start-ups to people between 18-35 years with a viable business plan and no funds.

Initial credit assistance is limited to fifty thousand rupees and to be paid back in twelve months and the recipient is also linked to an experienced business person as a mentor.

The credit scheme has been extended to a skills development program that the chamber is implementing for apparel firm Gap, to support women in the southern Galle and central Kandy districts.

"The Gap program targets the immediate women family members of the Gap employees in the Kandy District and provides them with a comprehensive skill development and exposure on a chosen trade," the chamber said in a statement.

Ten of these women from Kandy received loans to the value of 250,000 rupees in February. To date, the Ceylon Chamber has trained over 400 women in both districts.

The chamber says t

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