Initiated in the year 2007, Enterprise Development Services (EDS) is a unique feature of BMI where support is provided to the under-priviledged to lift them out of poverty along with financial assistance . EDS is the “credit plus” component of BMI's strategy that places emphasis on developing a range of requisite skills of its target clientele.

BMI has separate dedicated unit for EDS which consists of Enterprise Development Officers in the decentralized branches in operation and are guided by the Head Office. BMI is proud to be one of just a handful of organizations which provide such services to the rural communities and is known to be the only MFI that delivers a dedicated EDS component that is on par with the credit facilities given to clients.

Accordingly, BMI engages in the provision trainings, business counselling, business follow ups, creation of market linkages, facilitation of business registration, provision of business information, facilitation of livestock insurance, initiating special income generating projects, appreciating and recognize entrepreneurs and enterprises and supporting to reduce environmental harm caused by enterprises.  

The trainings delivered by the trainers of BMI internal and external resource persons pool and other value added services provided by Enterprise development officers.  

In order to provide EDS training services, BMI has evolved a creative demand driven system through which clients pay for the services. BMI issues coupons with loans to utilize training services and value of the coupon without interest is paid to BMI with the loan installment. Borrowers or their family members can use those coupons for paying fees for EDS services as required by them or alternatively a client can offset the money paid for the coupon as the last installment of the loan repayment. Other services of BMI provided for clients as free of charge to improve the business also to sustain income sources. 

Since its inception in August 2007 and until 31st December 2016, BMI has conducted more than 7,089 training programmes for more than 136,000 training participants. 

Adding Value in Sri Lanka

March 24, 2017

This blog comes to us from Claire Kelly, WPF's Regional Director for Asia/Pacific.

Adding Value: Berendina's Enterprise Development Services (EDS)

Providing access to credit is the fundamental service of all of Whole Planet Foundation's microfinance partners. But what is the best way to support borrowers as they use their loan capital to start or grow a small business?   It is actually a very difficult question.

Client trainings can leverage the investment that clients can make in their business, but they cost money to implement. To cover the cost of client trainings, an institution may need to raise interest rates or add fees. And perhaps there are some clients who would prefer to pay a cheaper price for the loan rather than pay for trainings that may or may not be applicable to their business needs. In addition to increased costs, clients may end up forced to waste their valuable time in a training that somebody else has decided is valuable.

WPF's Sri Lanka partner, Berendina, addresses this challenge with a market-driven training program called Enterprise Development Services (EDS). According to BMI's annual report, “The objective of the EDS service is to ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of the borrowers' business ventures by developing a wide variety of their skills, which primarily include their technical skills, business management skills and financial literacy.”

Clients choose which trainings they would like to attend and the clients pay for their desired training sessions. Berendina staff therefore has to work hard to respond to client demands for high quality support on topics the clients feel can develop their business.

Berendina has developed 3 types of client support enterprise services:

Above, BMIC clients receive coupons at loan disbursement


Coupons can be redeemed for Type A technical trainings (such as sewing)


Ranjini meets with other clients who are all involved in Palmera weaving as part of Type C EDS (market linkages)


Access to loan capital alone is only one way to help micro-entrepreneurs build a business that will provide income for themselves and their family. They also need access to other tools like savings accounts, insurance, technical assistance and training. Berendina's EDS methodology is an excellent example of an innovative model providing support in a sustainable AND client-centric way.

Courtesy: Whole Planet Foundation