Sri Lankan government aims to create 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2020 through Enterprise Sri Lanka programme
Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera says that the government aims to create 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2020 through its Enterprise Sri Lanka programme supported by 16 special loan schemes.
Samaraweera has told a workshop to educate banking professionals that through the programme, the government gears up to roll out the Rs. 5.2 billion on June 21st.
The Minister has reportedly pointed out the need for Sri Lanka to develop a comprehensive entrepreneurship structure that encourages people, especially graduates to embark on building their own businesses.
He has noted that many other countries have developed programmes specifically targeted at grooming entrepreneurs, which has boosted growth and created job opportunities for rural communities. T
“In Sri Lanka, we still have as few as 25,000 youth gaining public university admission every year. Even though many others resort to private universities and vocational training, there is still a gap regarding entrepreneurship. We have to change this trend and enable young people to use their creativity and new technology to find new growth paths for the economy,” the Finance Minister has been quoted as saying at the workshop.
Samaraweera has called on banks to support entrepreneurs by engaging more holistically with them, including formulating businesses plans and conducting feasibility assessments as many entrepreneurs may lack the ability to come with comprehensive plans to banks.
The Minister has also advocated that banks should proactively seek out entrepreneurs and attempt to provide solutions to their capital requirements.
The role of banks would need to evolve from taking deposits and giving out consumption-related loans to supporting entrepreneurs, he has added.
“As many as 100 loan schemes currently offered by banks would be restructured under this ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ program. It is estimated that about 150,000 youth are unemployed in Sri Lanka. These people are prey to extremist organisations, drugs and the underworld because they feel that they are not capable to lead productive lives. We must show them that that is not the case, and that we are ready to assist them in becoming worthwhile citizens,” Samaraweera has noted.
According to the Minister, special provisions will be assigned for female entrepreneurs. He has explained that is 10 people or more begin a business and half of them are women, they would be given an additional 10% relief in interest rates. Differently abled people would also be given similar concessions with interest rates.
The aim of creating 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2020 through the Sri Lankan government’s Enterprise Sri Lanka programme would undoubtedly result in the strengthening and growth of the country’s overall economy making it further conducive to do business with. Due to the availability of funding for local entrepreneurs and start ups, it would provide an opportunity for larger business entities to form partnerships/joint ventures that could result in the expansion of local businesses.
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