Continuing its agenda of supporting SMEs and women entrepreneurs, Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, together with the Chamber of Commerce, conducted a webinar featuring four accomplished small and medium businesswomen. The webinar was themed ‘Empowering Women Entrepreneurship’ and highlighted different perspectives that are useful to build and expand a successful business.
As a leading financial service provider, Seylan Bank focuses on supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs in order to open new avenues and grow their businesses. Recognizing the potential in the women entrepreneur sector, Seylan Bank has invested on empowering them through knowledge sharing and skills development, towards contributing to the development of the economy.
“We at Seylan, consider our SME sector as the backbone of the country. Generally, the topic of empowering SMEs or women, is limited to either women in the corporate sector or a few selected traditional SMEs. Identifying that there is more potential with many other women entrepreneurs the webinar was essentially targeted at a selection of businesses led by women who seek new opportunities in a wide array of industries. The panel who conducted the webinar reflected this objective. Women entrepreneurs face unique challenges, as they are also multi-tasking at different levels. These are rarely brought forward or resolved in forums. The experiences that were shared by our speakers helped existing and potential women entrepreneurs who experience similar challenges to understand how to overcome issues faced when building or expanding businesses. Our message to them is that Seylan Bank’s doors are open to women in any industry, who are passionate about building their business and taking it to the next level,” commented Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager – Marketing and Sales, Seylan Bank.
Sharon Fonseka, Assistant General Manager – Corporate Credit Branches added, “For Seylan Bank, our focus does not end with providing only financial services to women entrepreneurs. We continue to consider ways to provide a platform where knowledge can be shared by women who have tried and tested solutions, in building their businesses. This also gives an opportunity for them to establish a network with the bank and other entrepreneurs, creating a support system that will further help them in their journey. We continuously work together with them to overcome challenges they will face in their journey”.
The ‘Empowering Women Entrepreneurs’ panel was moderated by Nayomi Handunnetti, Executive Director – Handun Villas and Restaurants. She opened the discussion by emphasizing the importance of women entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka and the role of SMEs in the economy. Selyna Peiris, Director, Business Development – Selyn, followed by highlighting the need to identify hidden opportunities and exploring new markets. Drawing from her personal experience, Namalee Wickrama, Managing Director – Golden Star Holdings Pvt Ltd. shared the milestones of her journey in building a successful manufacturing business, while Chanchala Gunawardena, Chief Executive Officer – Kimbula Kithul added a new avenue of discussion in the successful use of digital platforms in developing a business. Joining the discussion on behalf of Seylan Bank, Prabodha Rajapakse, Senior Manager, Branch Credits brought to light the range of financial services that are available with the Bank for women entrepreneurs.
The ‘Empowering Women Entrepreneurs’ webinar successfully received over 800 registrations, creating an engaging platform to share knowledge, and was a fruitful learning experience for existing and potential entrepreneurs.