The Regional Development Bank (RDB) launched the RDB ‘Welanda Sabhawa’ programme in line with the bank’s effort and commitment to empower Sri Lankans. The initial programme was conducted on 23 September 2011 at the Sith Roo reception hall in Dankotuwa.
The RDB ‘Welanda Sabhawa’ is a forum targeting Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs, to assist them in venturing into new businesses and developing existing businesses as well as educating them all on a range of issues. The programme covers issues arising from accounting, marketing, human resource management to productivity offering comprehensive details on how to manage the challenges from these segments.
The initial programme at Dankotuwa enrolled more than 200 small and medium scale entrepreneurs from the Puttalam district. The programme addressed several general issues faced by entrepreneurs while dealing with banks. The areas covered included, how to develop a business plan and importance of having a business plan, how to approach a bank, correct utilization of funds and developing and retaining businesses.
Sessions from experts in their respective fields were also a part of the programme agenda where Chairman of DSI Group Nandadasa Rajapaksa talked of Developing Entrepreneurship and Young Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka President Patrick Amarasinghe spoke of the importance of developing a business plan. The participants were also given an opportunity to listen to the success stories of K.A.D. Arunasiri Appuhami and J.M. Jayasinghe who are successful entrepreneurs from the district. A question and answer session during the programme gave the participants an opportunity to discuss and clarify areas that needed further explanation. Questions that couldn’t be addressed at that moment were noted down so that the relevant participants could be notified later on.
Initiated as a CSR project by the bank, the RDB ‘Welanda Sabhawa’ takes steps to make the middle and lower income range of the public also a part of the current development stride in the country with the dawn of peace. The bank hopes to conduct ‘Welanda Sabhawa’ programmes throughout the island covering each and every province.
The Regional Development Bank was founded with the country’s six regional development banks being merged into a single entity.
The six regional banks, which were amalgamated, were namely, Rajarata, Ruhuna, Wayamba, Uva, Kandurata and Sabaragamuwa Development Banks. RDB is the only development bank in the country with a network of 251 branches and a significant customer base of 3.5 million.
Pix by Upul Abayasekara