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HNB and Sarvodaya Development Finance partner to uplift sustainable Entrepreneurs

Jude Fernando, Deputy General Manager- SME & Midmarket –HNB

Sri Lanka's most innovative bank, HNB PLC, announced a milestone partnership with pioneering grass root level financial services provider, Sarvodaya Development Finance, to serve as official banking and financial service partners to the upcoming Village Biz Festival 2019.

Organised by COEXIST to showcase and uplift innovative and sustainable products developed by local entrepreneurs, this year's festival is set to take place from 10 am to 10 pm on 20th July 2019 at Green Path.

"HNB has been the first private sector bank in the country with a long history of vibrant engagements with SMEs and entrepreneurs across the country. That is why we are truly honoured to be able to step forward and join together with Sarvodaya Development Finance to make this venture a success.

"Our goal in partnering with the COEXIST Village Biz Festival is to provide as much support as possible, to the development of vibrant platforms for our entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative and creative abilities. In that regard, we warmly invite all our customers to visit the COEXIST Village Biz Festival and witness for themselves the very best and unique, most sustainable products, our people have to offer," HNB Deputy General Manager- SME & Midmarket, Jude Fernando.

A total of 100 local entrepreneurs will showcase products developed through processes of recycling and up-cycling, at this year's festival, with each entrepreneur handpicked by an expert group of judges following a stringent evaluation process.

"Since our inception, Sarvodaya Development Finance has adopted a uniquely holistic approach to financial services based on creating not only economical but also social value for our customers. We, therefore, see a great deal of affinity between our organisation and HNB, which has played a similarly empowering role for customers across Sri Lanka.

"The COEXIST Village Biz Festival, therefore, represents ideal sustainable values and dynamic entrepreneurial spirit models which HNB and Sarvodaya Development Finance have both been working to promote in Sri Lanka. We are proud to support such a bold and timely measure," Sarvodaya Development Finance Chairman Channa De Silva said.

As the co-event sponsor and official banking partner, HNB PLC together with Sarvodaya Development Finance, will offer entrepreneurs chosen to take part in the event, a stall at no cost and free accommodation for two days.

Entrepreneurs will also be trained at Bandaragama, facilitated by the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM), University of Jayawardenapura and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) which enables them to enhance their business competencies as well as financial literacy and financial discipline.

Furthermore, HNB will equip the stalls at the event with a POS machine, a low-cost payment solution for merchants, to facilitate card transactions conveniently. HNB will also promote micro-financing facilities, deposit accounts, credit cards and other financial products to entrepreneurs as well as to the participants.

Sarvodaya, a globally recognised organisation, engaged in social work and economic development at the grassroot level, has organised the COEXIST Village Biz Festival to showcase local talent and innovation. Guided by the social philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the spiritual teachings of Buddhism, Sarvodaya, was founded by Dr A. T. Ariyaratne, and is one of the oldest non-governmental organisations in Sri Lanka.

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