To foster business enterprises, especially for the growth of women entrepreneurship, SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) earmarks 25% of its loan portfolio to women. Funding empowerment for women-owned SMEs has been one of the major policies of the government.
SME loans allocated for women per year takes up 25% of the portfolio. A total of 49 loans have approved, which have a value of MVR 51,383453. From this, the amount disbursed totals to MVR 14,158,393.
Raidha Shafeeq, is a fashion designer who is specialized in designing and retailing own clothing line since November 2014 in Sri Lanka and UAE. Through SDFC’s SME funding, she has paved the way forward to open a brand new outlet in Crossroads Maldives.
During the pandemic, Maldives has seen an impressive number of youths, especially females, coming forward with their ideas and passion, and turn it into a reality. The increase in the number of start-ups is a result of finding an alternative income source in the country during the crisis. This has encouraged many people to turn their talent into a business, through which they can earn a good income.
SDFC was established as a specialized financial institution providing financial products and ancillary services to micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial start-ups with the primary purpose of easing access to finance for those businesses. SDFC’s key focus is to develop loan products and enable the growth of businesses in Local Tourism, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Information and Communication Technology and Fisheries.