Under the Citi–CCC Rural Economic Empowerment Programme, Hatton National Bank provided loan facilities to a group of micro scale businessmen in the Urubokke area of the Matara district to commence new businesses as well as for expansion of existing businesses. A total of 37 entrepreneurs, who were earlier trained by the Citi-CCC Rural Economic Empowerment Programme on identifying commercially viable business and preparation of business plans for commencing new businesses or expansion of existing businesses as well as on ways and means of sourcing finances from the formal financial sector, were awarded loans by HNB Urubokke branch, which is set up as a “Gemi Pubuduwa” branch to cater to the micro scale entrepreneurs. Among them, there were 17 female entrepreneurs, who are engaged in micro scale food processing, running tea and spice nurseries and grocery shops in their locality. Male entrepreneurs are mainly engaged in tea and cinnamon cultivation and collection of tea leaves and cinnamon quills.

Ravin Basnayake, Citi Country Officer, Citibank Sri Lanka, Shanaka Waduge, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi bank Sri Lanka, Chandra D. Vithanage, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC)and Jude Fernando, Assistant General Manager – SME and Development Finance of HNB took part in the event, representing their respective organizations.