EDB to help establish 1000 start-ups

17 December 2015 03:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka will soon witness a surge in entrepreneurial-based businesses as the apex agency for the promotion and development of exports in the country said it was looking to establish 1000 start-ups.
“The Export Development Board (EDB) has received funds to have start-ups where no collateral will be required. Taken into account will be innovative ideas from graduates. The unique proposals will be considered as bankable projects,” shared the institution’s newly appointed Chairperson and CEO Indira Malwatte.
The project is initiated with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship amongst the youth.
While a total of 1000 business ideas will be taken into account, 500 will be for the fast-booming ICT/BPO sector.
Noting that the graduates may have a bright idea but not the ability and the technical knowhow to commercialise the same, the new chief said the EDB would hand pick the most innovative and practical projects, tweak the proposals, making them viable. “Keeping an eye on the operating environment, we will walk them (selected project ideas) through a period of three years, till they are established in a particular market,” noted Malwatte. The EDB will work closely with universities to select suitable candidates for the programme that is likely to kick off early 2016.

A senior official of the agency said that while the project mainly targets graduates from state universities, it might accommodate private and accredited universities as well.
Although funds have been allocated by the Treasury to kick start the project, it is still in its early stages of planning.
Selection criteria, method of carrying out the projects and other areas are yet to be formulated but will be completed before end-2015, a senior official from the EDB said.
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