About Us

The USAID CATALYZE Private Sector Development (PSD) Activity is designed to strengthen inclusive and sustainable economic growth by increasing the quality and volume of financing and business services available to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in high-growth-potential sectors in Sri Lanka. It is part of the USAID CATALYZE project, launched in October 2019, to unlock $2 billion over eight years in private sector financing for development impact, especially in underserved social sectors and frontier countries. 

In Sri Lanka, USAID’s PSD Activity is co-creating innovative partnerships with high-impact financial institutions, private firms, and trade associations to design incentive schemes that lower the costs and risks of expanding finance and services for MSMEs, especially women-owned and women-led MSMEs. PSD also provides direct assistance to firms in target sectors to take advantage of specific growth opportunities.

CATALYZE PSD is committed to equitable and inclusive economic growth in Sri Lanka and applying a gender lens across all activities. The project encourages partners to identify and support enterprises that increase economic opportunities for women. It contributes to USAID’s overall goal of increasing inclusive, market-driven growth in Sri Lanka by mobilizing private capital, bolstering the business advisory services ecosystem, and providing targeted assistance to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

PSD’s recent work focuses on helping MSMEs recover from COVID-19 related setbacks. Through a series of targeted COVID-19 recovery grants, PSD granted $1.7 million to strengthen MSMEs’ levels of resilience and adaptation to the long-term economic impacts of COVID-19.

What We Do

USAID CATALYZE PSD implements activities under three principal, interconnected objectives,  with a core cross-cutting theme of increased women’s inclusion and empowerment.

Increase MSME competitiveness. PSD provides direct assistance to MSMEs and expands business advisory services for MSMEs, with a particular focus on women in the workforce and female business owners.

Increase access to finance for MSMEs. PSD develops partnerships with financial institutions and private investors to encourage the development of innovative financing solutions and incentivize increased lending to MSMEs in target sectors and supports U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) activities in Sri Lanka.

Increase economic resilience to COVID-19 impacts. PSD helps MSMEs to withstand the impact of, and recover from, COVID-19.


CATALYZE PSD focuses its support on MSMEs in five high-priority sectors:


Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)

Commercial care

Small-scale apparel

Food processing

USAID CATALYZE PSD aims to mobilize $39 million in private capital by increasing access to finance, mobilizing debt financing and private equity investment, and providing technical assistance to improve MSME business performance.

News and Resources

Three people wearing marks while handling food
PSD has provided grants to MSMEs to help them weather the COVID pandemic. Worga Naturals received a PSD grant to expand exports of their organic vegan food range, enabling the company to increase production capacity.
CATALYZE Private Sector Development
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