At LOLC, we strongly believe in investing in sustainable development. As a responsible corporate citizen, this is our philosophy by which we base our decisions and operate our business. Our business model is one that looks beyond the "short term economic value" to one of "long term societal and environmental value". We do this in the name of a growing company with a vision to sustain Sri Lanka for future generations. We do this in the name of building a society, enriching a nation and preserving life.
LOLC is a pioneer in introducing renewable energy to rural communities. After gaining financial institution status for World Bank's Renewable Energy for Rural Economic Development (RERED) grant, LOLC is now one of the largest private sector financiers of solar energy. Sundaya Lanka Ltd, one of Sri Lanka's largest solar panel service providers is an LOLC investment through which the Company helps rural families 'light up' their lives. This is indicative of our Company's philosophy and commitment to enhance lifestyles of rural Sri Lanka. We know that solar energy has helped the children of these families study better, that it has helped minimize the human-elephant conflict and that it has provided a means of uplifting the living standards of rural communities. We have given them a chance to imagine the possibilities....
Micro financing is an empowering, enabling bottoms-up tool to poverty alleviation that has provided considerable economic and non economic externalities to low income households. This sustainable tool to poverty alleviation is a exercise in developmental priorities. LOLC is a strong proponent of micro financing for farmers and women entrepreneurs in rural communities.
As a leader in this field, the Group provides financing solutions to our hard working farmers to purchase equipment and machinery. They till and toil the fields for our sustenance. By making available and giving access to two wheel tractors, we have witnessed a marked increase in the efficiency of cultivation and harvest as the tractor facilitates farmers to increase yield by enhancing the productivity of the available paddy land. In this way, the farmer benefits too.
Because women are considered better borrowers, LOLC promotes and empowers the status of this gender by providing micro financing for small and medium entrepreneurial projects. Research shows that credit extended to women has a significant impact on their families' quality of life, and living standards. LOLC has recognized this need and supports women by granting micro financing opportunities and encouraging entrepreneurial ventures.
This level of involvement and commitment by LOLC is a necessity to drive Sri Lanka's rural and impoverished communities to be self-sustainable, thus eradicating the poverty line.
In March 2008, LOLC joined the membership of the United Nations Global Compact. This is a global agenda set by the United Nations towards championing sustainable development through ten universally accepted principles and sets a framework for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations in this manner.
Microfinance significantly facilitates women's empowerment at the individual, intra-household, and community levels. Women's status, both in their homes and in their communities, is elevated when they are responsible for managing loans and savings. The ability to generate and control their own income can further empower them. Research shows that credit extended to women has a significant impact on their families' quality of life, especially their children.
Globally it is accepted that women are more attuned to the concept of micro entrepreneurship demonstrating a far less likelihood to default on loans than men. In view of the multiple, positive effects of female gender aimed micro finance; LOLC has enhanced its focus on the woman as a potential micro finance client. This is clearly evident in LOLC Group’s newest addition to its micro-financing sector,BRAC Laninka Finance PLC which caters to the lowest end of the Micro lending segment in the country. BRAC is renowned as Sri Lanka’s only micro finance company with the highest level of female participation. BRAC’s total client base of 160,000 comprises entirely of female borrowers whilst 93% of its staff members are female. Furthermore, the field operations are completely handled by BRAC’s female staff. Through a large network of service centres scattered throughout many rural areas of the island, BRAC steers ahead with its primary objective of empowering women. The company focuses on lending exclusively to women entrepreneurs who are engaged in self-employment, manufacturing, trade and service providing.
Backed by LOLC’s extensive experience in the micro credit business and with the support of international agencies, BRAC hopes to introduce industry best practices to reinforce its unique business model and thereby ensure the sustainable improvement of the less privileged rural communities it caters to.
LOLC Group is cognizant of the need to establish market linkages across the business and value cycles of each recipient so as to further their business prospects for the future. Therefore, by integrating with each recipient’s business model, LOLC goes beyond the mere role of financier/investor to partner in aiding with better production technologies, Know-how, product packaging advice and marketing. This level of involvement and commitment LOLC believes is a necessity to drive Sri Lanka’s rural and impoverished communities to be self-sustainable, thus eradicating the poverty line.
The majority of Sri Lanka's demand for Milk is met by imports; Mainly in the form of Full Cream Milk Powder. Moreover, imports are predominantly in the powdered form, which invariably means that the nutritional value is lower than that of fresh milk.
Recognizing the issues that surround the need for dairy development, LOLC undertook certain initiatives to revive the ailing national dairy industry. By giving farmers the required investment to purchase cattle, LOLC has renewed the interest in this sector. However, noting the need for a facilitator that adds value across the value chain of the industry, LOLC has taken upon itself the role of a counsellor to the farming community. By lending support through technical and marketing know-how, it has assisted the dairy farmer community to increase efficiencies. This includes enhanced animal productivity, fodder and nutritional efficiency through bio-genetics and efficiency in collection, storage and distribution.
LOLC is a leading player in introducing rural communities to renewal energy. In Sri Lanka over 15-20 per cent of rural communities have no access to grid electricity. Dependent on kerosene and paraffin lamps for night light, rural communities are often devastated by kerosene and paraffin related accidents that lead to not only destruction of property but also to that of life.
By successfully gaining the preferred financial institution status for World Bank's Renewable Energy for Rural Economic Development (RERED) Grant, LOLC has grown to be the largest private sector financier of solar home systems in Sri Lanka. To date the Group has financed over 11,652 solar systems to rural families who are predominately engaged in agricultural activity.
In 2007/2008, LOLC invested in a 51 per cent stake of Sundaya Lanka Ltd. which is a fully owned subsidiary of Sundaya International, a reputed manufacturer of solar components. Sundaya Lanka Ltd. is the largest solar panel service provider in Sri Lanka which ensures a long term sustenance of people's dependence on solar as opposed to a short term financing solution.
The Group's involvement in solar lighting has given new light to thousands of rural families, minimized the human-elephant conflict and created pervasive commitment towards renewable energy as an alternative energy form.