IFC supports ComBank to expand access to finance for women | Sunday Observer

IFC supports ComBank to expand access to finance for women

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will support the Commercial Bank of Ceylon? to develop more products and services for women, especially those who own small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).??

The advisory assistance to ComBank is part of IFC’s Banking on Women (BOW) program, which is supported by the Government of Australia under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program.

Sri Lankan women are recognised as highly entrepreneurial, owning nearly a quarter of the micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the country. Most are micro-sized enterprises, with the number of women owned businesses falling drastically as the business size increases. While over 80 percent of women have an account at a financial institution, only 17 percent have borrowed money.

The move is in line with IFC’s country strategy for Sri Lanka which includes a focus on the need to deepen financial inclusion by expanding access for SMEs and women.

In June, IFC invested $100 million in ComBank – a $50 million loan as part of IFC’s US$8 billion global COVID-19 fast track financing facility, and another $50 million through a private placement of new equity shares. Both investments will help ComBank sustain its operations and support the economic recovery process.