United States commits USD 150Mn to support small businesses & empower Sri Lankan women

The United States continues to support small businesses in Sri Lanka as they work to overcome the economic challenges posed by the pandemic. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) awarded USD 150 million in funding to Sri Lanka’s DFCC Bank to bolster the local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, strengthen private sector investment, and support women entrepreneurs. This is the largest DFC loan disbursement for Sri Lanka to date and follows on a previous DFC funding line of USD 75 million to NDB Bank.

A portion of the loan will be directed towards SMEs owned or led by Sri Lankan women. By empowering women in business, this agreement aligns with the U.S.’ broader goals of expanding financial inclusivity, tackling gender inequality, and increasing support for women-led enterprises.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Alaina Teplitz, said “Economically empowered women uplift themselves and transform families, communities, and countries. In order for societies to thrive, women must have access to resources and opportunities. The economic consequences of the pandemic make gender-inclusive investment even more essential.”

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the development finance institution of the United States government, primarily responsible for providing and facilitating the financing of private development projects in countries around the world. This assistance is part of DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative which has mobilized USD 7 billion in private sector investment toward women’s economic empowerment and aims to provide an additional USD 12 billion by 2025 to advance gender equity in emerging markets worldwide.