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“USA keen to see that Lanka achieves economic success”

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Manjula de Silva, CEO/Secretary CCC exchanges an agreement with Country Director for ILO Sri Lanka and the Maldives Simrin Singh
Manjula de Silva, CEO/Secretary CCC exchanges an agreement with Country Director for ILO Sri Lanka and the Maldives Simrin Singh

The USA is keen to see that Sri Lanka achieves economic success and they (US) are keen to support that endeavour. “President Biden has said, ‘Getting our economy back means bringing our small businesses back,’ and so, the U.S. Government is focusing on small business growth as the key to our own recovery,” said Philip Loosli, Economy Chief, U.S. Embassy Colombo, at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Monday at the launch of South Asia Leadership Entrepreneurship program. (SALE)

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to partner with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the ILO to promote entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka to make the economy stronger and more inclusive, especially for women and historically disadvantaged groups. Extending beyond job creation and potential for decent work opportunities, entrepreneurship disrupts the status-quo, injecting new thinking, pre-empting solutions, and paving the way for constant change. When combined with the creativity, drive, and skills of young people, it creates a formidable force.”

This collaboration is also implemented in Sri Lanka and Nepal and funded by the U.S. Department of State. CEO, Secretary CCC Manjula de Silva said that it’s sad to note that Sri Lankan youth still prefer to seek firstly public sector jobs and then be a professional. “However only a few aspire to be an entrepreneur. Less than 30% of Sri Lankan youth consider self-employment as an ideal career according to a 2018 study. “In Sri Lanka, being an entrepreneur is still viewed as a high-risk, unstable career option. We see entrepreneurship as the most important catalyst of economic development as it is the entrepreneur who will mobilise other resources to create value. Promoting entrepreneurship among the youth and their key influencers such as parents and teachers will go a long way to establish a pipeline of startups. Sri Lanka is yet to capitalize on the full potential of entrepreneurship. This situation is not due to a dearth of innovative ideas, or lack of passion among youth, but rather a result of a less than ideal entrepreneurship ecosystem,” Simrin Singh, Country Director for ILO Sri Lanka and the Maldives said.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the need for innovative thinking and an accelerated need for new business solutions and services, especially opportunities in the digital economy. To drive entrepreneurship, we need to ramp-up efforts across the board in providing young people with the necessary access, resources, and skills, alongside shifting mindsets and creating support systems.”

A highlight of the SALE programme is the introduction of a new national competition for young entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas, receive necessary support, and stand a chance to win the ‘Youth Entrepreneur Spark’ (YES) Award.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – 01:00

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