Commercial Bank together with the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), conducted a webinar for women entrepreneurs to help them adapt to the requisites of the ‘new normal’ fol- lowing the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar was part of the Bank’s ongoing efforts to empower women in busi- ness, and an extension of its knowledge-sharing and edu- cational sessions designed for this period of social distancing.
Commercial Bank has been consistently aiming to offer Entrepreneur Skills Development Programs to enable its SME and Micro customer segments to remain competitive and this webinar was focused on offering pandemic-specific advice to the women entrepreneurs in these segments.
Topics covered in the webinar included – ‘Managing your money,’ ‘Making your supply chain resilient,’ ‘COVID-19 is just another hurdle’ and ‘self-confidence is all you need.’
The webinar also discussed ways on how to get financial assistance from the bank, information on the release of loan funds and subsequent monitor- ing involved to ensure beneficial utilization of these funds and information on how to make the best use of the
COVID-19 loan schemes launched by the Bank for both the SME and Micro business sectors.
The Bank also briefed par- ticipants on the reduced lend- ing rates offered in response to the adverse effects of the pandemic on businesses. The webinar, which included a question and answer session was delivered through Zoom. A video of the forum is cur- rently hosted on the Bank’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Sandra Walgama, Deputy General Manager – Personal Banking, Commercial Bank commenting on the webinar said: “Commercial Bank has always been committed to the principle of equal opportunity in its dealings with customers, but we recognize that there are still challenges that are specific to women entrepreneurs, and the Bank continues to address this issue as a priority. The unprecedented economic and social challenges created by the pandemic make webinars of this nature a need of the hour to create awareness of the Bank’s pandemic-related support programs, build business acumen specifically needed for tough times, and to reassure our female customers of our continued commitment to them.” The resource persons for the webinar included: Anoji De Silva, Management Consultant; Tusitha Kumarakulasingam, Business/Marketing Consultant and Transformation Catalyst; Gayani de Alwis, Founding Chairperson, (WiLAT) Women in Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka & Immediate Past Chairperson, (CILT) Chartered Institute of Logistics & Trans- port; and Nayana Karunaratne, Hairdresser/Beautician and Trainer. Vinod Pillai, SME Officer – Development Credit Department, Commercial Bank also participated.
The moderator was Kamalini Ellawala, the Bank’s Senior Manager – Women Banking. Participants received financial and non-financial advice from qualified, prominent figures in the industry.
They had the opportunity to interact live with the Bank of- ficials, further strengthening the relationship between the Bank and customer segment.