Small and micro-enterprise in Sri Lanka: bringing the bankers to the people

The indigenous informal credit market within Sri Lanka encompasses a wide range of financial arrangements, including: direct money-lending (professional and semi-professional money-lenders); indirect money-lending (trade financing, commission agencies, and credit related to mortgages on crops); and voluntary credit groups (single purpose and multi-purpose credit assistance and cheetu/ROSCAs). The paper focuses on: the Hatton National Bank; 'barefoot banking'; the extension of irrigation; and, the role of NGOs. Aspects are listed in which outside agencies could assist the banking systems in reaching the small- and micro-enterprise sector: preferential interest rates; risk sharing; awareness of banking; identifying potential entrepreneurs; entrepreneur development; monitoring; encouraging savings habits; and group lending. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.