People’s Bank introduces “People’s Spark” an Entrepreneurship Development Programme including a dedicated collateral free loan scheme for young graduates and for those who have Level 5 National Vocational Qualifications or above. The programme has been developed in line with the Governments National policy framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”
The objective of the programme is to focus on developing entrepreneurship among educated and vocationally trained young people by financing between 100 and 150 start-ups, prioritising Agriculture, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, Innovation, Tourism and Essential services such as Health, Education and Logistics.
The programme also aims to transform classroom knowledge in to practical business ideas via comprehensive guidance programmes and incubation where applicants need to work for three months period under a successful entrepreneur. It also looks to contribute to the local economy by turning local resources in to plausible assets in terms of employment, import substitution and export orientation.
To be eligible for the programme, candidates must be aged between 18-35 years of age, a citizen of Sri Lanka, a graduate from a University accepted by the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka or have successfully completed level-5 National Vocational Qualification training or above. Candidates cannot be a defaulter of People’s Bank or any other financial institution, and must be willing to participate in training programmes and internships arranged by People’s Bank on a need basis.
The purpose of the loan scheme is to facilitate investment and permanent working capital in the following eligible sectors, Agriculture, Manufacturing Industries, Food & Beverages, Innovation & Technology, Essential Services and Tourism. The maximum loan amount is Rs.2.5 Million per borrower.
The maximum repayment period for an Investment Loan is 7 years which includes a grace period of 1 year if required. The Working Capital Loan can be repaid in a period of 3 years with a grace period of 6 months if required. Any interest on the loans should be serviced within the given grace periods. Loan repayment whether, monthly, once in two months or once in three months, can be arranged based on cash flow patterns of the business.