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SME Finance Development Corporation (SDFC) has revealed loans worth USD 3.3 million have been approved for women-owned business enterprises, in order to boost the growth of female entrepreneurship in the Maldives.
SDFC was established in March 2019 to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Maldives. SDFC revealed 25% of its annual portfolio is allocated for women, adding a total 49 loans have been approved for women-owned SMEs which amounts to USD 3.3 million. SDFC noted USD 0.9 million has been disbursed under the approved loans.
Statistics publicised by the SDFC indicate the highest number of loans approved for women are from the commercial sector, with 24 loans worth USD 1.2 million approved for women in the sector. Meanwhile, nine loans worth USD 1.47 million were approved from the tourism sector. SDFC has also issued loans for women-owned SMEs in fishing, agriculture, manufacturing and transport.
In addition to women-owned SMEs, SDFC also allocates a certain percentage of its loans for youth and disabled entrepreneurs. SDFC has also been disbursing loans for SMEs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, under the economic relief package introduced by the government.