HNB introduces SME Equity funding platform

Posted On 18 Aug 2019
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Picture shows Jude Fernando Deputy General Manager, SME & Midmarket, HNB exchanging the MOU with Roshan Ranasinghe, Founder/Managing Director, Tribefund.

Picture shows Jude Fernando Deputy General Manager, SME & Midmarket, HNB exchanging the MOU with Roshan Ranasinghe, Founder/Managing Director, Tribefund.

Sri Lanka’s most SME friendly bank, HNB PLC announced a unique partnership with Tribefunds (Pvt) Ltd., an equity funding platform that links local SMEs and startups with local and global investors in order to channel much needed investment into the sector.

The partnership offers customers the opportunity to leverage Tribefunds state-of-the-art online funding platform to generate equity for expansion, with a particular emphasis on investments in fintechs, digital businesses and distressed enterprises.

The initiative is set to encourage SMEs who are engaged in debt based capital raising to consider a listing and non-listing as a means of finding the right balance between absorbing financial liabilities and pursuing growth.

“SMEs are often considered as being the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy, and given that they account for as much as 52% of domestic GDP – which is substantially higher than SAARC peers – it is clear that any vision for the future of the Sri Lankan economy must take into account the pivotal role that SMEs play in our economy. Provided with the correct support, these are enterprises which have the potential to transform into corporates with strong competitive ability and a healthy balance of equity and debt-based capital,”

“As an organization that has served as a partner in progress for innumerable SME customers, HNB stands firmly committed to protecting and nurturing this vital sector. Our efforts to link SMEs to equity funding therefore represents a major milestone for the Sri Lankan economy as a whole, and we strongly encourage our SME clients to fully capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity,” HNB Deputy General Manager –SME & Midmarket Jude Fernando said.

Even though, capital sourced through debt and services by banks have played a vital role in the growth of SMEs, the right combination of equity and debt based capital can assist the sector to achieve an optimal capital structure and foster sustainable and responsible growth.

“When it comes to success, the dynamic and uncertain nature of the SME sector is such that strategic financial support can often make all the difference, and provide enterprises with incentives to further refine their business models. When done correctly, this can have important implications for Sri Lanka’s economic development. HNB is an organization that has a long and rich history working with SMEs, and we are therefore pleased to partner with them in order to better access the resources they require to develop,” Tribefund Founder/Managing Director, Roshan Ranasinghe said.

Over the past year, HNB has received continuous praise for its pioneering initiatives across the entire spectrum of its operations. The bank was among the very first private sector commercial banks to enter the SME sector, continuously engaging with entrepreneurs, rural enterprises and communities in order to facilitate access to finance, and complemented with extensive technical training and capacity building workshops aimed at providing local SMEs with the knowledge necessary to upscale their businesses.

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