Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Cargills partners Central Bank in training SMEs

Continuing its efforts to support the local small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), Cargills has partnered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to provide a series of SME training workshops.

The first workshop was conducted at the Central Bank’s Centre for Banking Studies Auditorium in Rajagiriya and the inaugural session was held under the patronage of the CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

The event was also graced by dignitaries from the Ministry of Agriculture, state institutions, foreign embassies, international organisations, and academia.

This initiative is an extension of the Cargills ‘Village to Home’ program through which the Company provides the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs with a platform to engage with a larger network of customers by offering stalls at Cargills FoodCity premises. To date, over 90 SMEs have taken part in the program.

Recognising the challenges faced by SMEs in bringing their products to market, such as a lack of financial literacy and awareness about market standards and technology, Cargills plans to offer training workshops for small business owners in collaboration with the Central Bank’s financial literacy training program.

Attending SMEs will gain a comprehensive understanding on basic financial literacy, packaging and product development, and quality assurance.

The Company intends to develop these small business owners into successful entrepreneurs who can meaningfully contribute towards the local economy.

Year 2021 ended with an onset of a transformational endeavor for small and medium enterprises (SME). Namely, Sri Lanka Small and Medium Enterprises (SLSME), a fully immersed initiative set up to enable Sri Lankan SME development through value creation by means of adopting the business model canvas for innovation (BMC).

The need of increasing SME contribution to GDP is imminent, considering the current economic status of the country.

They make up a large part of Sri Lanka’s economy, accounting for 90% of all businesses and are an essential source of employment opportunities contributing to 45% of jobs in the country, showing that SMEs play an important role in promoting inclusive growth.

Currently, the GDP contribution of SMEs in Sri Lanka is approximately 52% with only 5% contribution to exports while the total GDP contribution from SMEs in successful economies is over 90%.

According to scholars, the country will not be economically sustainable without reaching at least 75% GDP contribution by the SME sector alone.

Moreover, Sri Lankan SMEs are either reluctant or unable to grow a respective business or the venture fails to succeed within 3-5 years of its inception.

Thus, SLSME comes in as a platform that reaches out to businesses to be an active participant in providing solutions to their business-related queries and obstacles

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