The war in Ukraine is having a rippling effect across the globe, particularly for countries like Sri Lanka, which is already grappling with skyrocketing inflation and food and fuel shortages exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain disruptions. Sri Lanka’s micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) face increasing challenges to stay in and grow their business.
On April 28, USAID CATALYZE’s Private Sector Development Activity in Sri Lanka signed an agreement with the country’s leading supermarket chain KEELLS to help improve the competitiveness of MSMEs, particularly women-owned MSMEs, working in Sri Lanka’s food processing sector. In the face of recent political crises, this agreement is evermore important as it can help build the country’s economic resilience to withstand future shocks.
KEELLS, a leading local supermarket/retail chain with more than 128 outlets all over the island, works with farmers and MSMEs. Together, USAID CATALYZE and KEELLS will uplift the MSME sector through a variety of services, including digital marketing, standards and certification, access to new markets, and access to financing. These services will be provided by Private Business Advisory Services Providers in Sri Lanka, with a special focus on MSMEs led by women.
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, attended the signing ceremony, praising the collaboration between KEELLS and USAID CATALYZE.
“Strong partnerships of this nature would catalyze an enriched future for many MSMEs through business linkages and process improvements, thereby, transforming lives, businesses, and economies of individuals and, ultimately, the country,” said Ambassador Chung.
Photo credit: USAID CATALYZE
This article was originally published by USAID CATALYZE.