The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has launched a ground-breaking certificate course in SME skills development exclusively for women entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) affiliated with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
The course will consist of three seven-hours-a-day sessions spread over three months followed by a practical presentation session, the bank said in a media release. The three sessions will be on the topics ‘Business Development for Women Entrepreneurs,’ ‘Finance & Negotiation basics’ and ‘Innovation & Branding.’ On completion of the sessions, participants will be required to present a practical plan on a new product or service complete with relevant costing and plans for marketing. A certificate will be awarded to the participants who complete all three sessions and the presentation.
The specific areas covered by the course topics would encompass ‘How to improve business in tough times’; ‘How to find new opportunities’; ‘How to grow the business in revenue terms’; ‘How to plan finances for the business’; ‘How to keep basic accounts and statements’; ‘Preparation of budgets for the business’; ‘How to manage costs’; ‘Negotiating and relationship building with suppliers’; ‘How to plan new products and services’; ‘Moving from a businesswoman to an entrepreneur’; and ‘How to promote the business via different channels’.
Commenting on this collaborative programme, Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Marketing, Hasrath Munasinghe said: “Skills development in the SME sector had been one of our main areas of focus under non-financial banking services. Our recent initiatives in Women’s banking place emphasis on supporting female entrepreneurs. As the leader in SME lending, we are happy to reach out to more women entrepreneurs and this skills development programme is the latest addition to this effort. With initiatives such as this, the bank aims to create more opportunities to reach women entrepreneurs, create stronger bonds, and equip our customers with the knowledge and skills needed to withstand challenges.”
Under this scheme, Commercial Bank will nominate participants for the SME skills development programmes for women entrepreneurs. Thereafter, the PIM will carry out an independent verification of the background of participants and will explain the curriculum individually, to prepare them for the programme.