Sri Lanka’s CCC to support startups to attract investments through Council for Startups - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s CCC to support startups to attract investments through Council for Startups

Sri Lanka’s CCC to support startups to attract investments through Council for Startups

Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the Council for Startups have reportedly held a webinar on the Startup Ecosystem Landscape to attract investments via the local tech and innovation opportunities.
It has been noted during the programme that in a thriving startup ecosystem, a good investment climate and deal flow is critical and the aim of the webinar was to showcase the local Tech and Innovation potential and to boost the venture funding ecosystem in Sri Lanka.
According to local media reports, over the past 10 years Sri Lanka on average has had venture funding of approximately US$ 2.5 million per year where leading countries spend close to 0.5% of GDP per annum. This equates to US$ 400 million per annum in venture funding for Sri Lanka.
Thus the objective during the session was to see how Sri Lanka could gradually increase this funding by at least targeting 0.1% of GDP (US$ 80 million) for 2022/2023 by highlighting the following:
1.Geopolitical location: Connected with over 8 trillion GDP within five-hour flying time which makes it easier for startups to scale
2.Untapped market: Still at an early stage with only approximately 400 startups, thus becoming attractive compared to the region for investors that are early movers
3.Tech talent: Small in numbers but proven talent that can build world class products to compete globally
4.Brain gain: Sri Lanka has been ranked second best for digital nomads in 2021 ahead of Singapore by Club Med. This study by the French travel company looked at cost of living, safety, average internet speed, presence of nature and wellness spots, as well as adventurous activities in each country. There is plenty of young Sri Lankan talent returning back to the country and many successful startups in Sri Lanka were founded by them. These entrepreneurs studied in the best schools globally, worked for a few years and came back. They have a world view but want to be in Sri Lanka
5.Govt incentives and support: Tax breaks, infrastructure development focused on ICT exports, digital ID cards, internet for every citizen etc.
6.Untapped innovation potential in the last mile, Fin-Tech, Ed-tech, Health-tech, Agri-tech etc and startups are able to become profitable fast in a smaller test market
Local media reports also stated that it was also noted that many startups have not grown and/or have shut down due to lack of funding.
B2B meetings had been organised to support the Sri Lankan startups to reach out to international investors and showcase their product/service offerings and secure investments.
The Council for Startups of the CCC has called in applications and showcased the selected startups based on the merit of their offerings to address the world problems which also had high growth potential.

OSL take:

Given the positive growth trends recorded by Sri Lanka’s economy, the country is fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have further increased Sri Lanka’s attraction as a business/investment opportunities. Amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, several key economic sectors have shown a growth momentum. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially by investing in local start-ups.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20210715/Z_8

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