Micro, small and medium-scale entrepreneurs (MSME) are the growing force of Sri Lankan economy. In the colossal endeavour of developing our economy, it is therefore fundamental to support the growth of these MSMEs. Taking a step in this direction, Sampath Bank, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost competitors in the banking industry, has launched an unprecedented corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative known as ‘Sampath Saviya’.
Sampath Saviya was launched last year with a focus on empowering MSMEs around the island. The programme was organised in conjunction with Competency-based Economies through Formation of Enterprise (CEFE NET) Sri Lanka and National Entrepreneur Development Authority (NEDA).
They conducted workshops on the importance of entrepreneurial development and business planning, enlightening a large number of participants present from districts across the island covering Matale, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kandy, Kurunegala, Puttlam, Batticaloa, Matara, Galle, Monaragala, Vavuniya, Kalutara and Jaffna Districts. Sampath Saviya has accomplished an admirable feat of training over 500 entrepreneurs thus far.
Commenting on the Sampath Saviya entrepreneur development programme, Sampath Bank PLC Chief Manager Branch Banking Thusitha Nakandala stated, “Entrepreneurship development is an essential component that facilitates the development of any country. Failure to empower SMEs may hinder the growth of social and economic sustainability.
As a socially responsible corporate entity, we fully comprehend the need for uplifting entrepreneurs in a developing economy. It is for this reason that we launched the Sampath Saviya programme exactly one year ago. This programme focuses on development of entrepreneurial competency, planning expertise and managerial knowledge of small and medium-scale entrepreneurs.
Further, Sampath Saviya represents our vision towards entrepreneurship development and thereby distinguishes ourselves from every other conventional entrepreneurial programme out there.”
Development officials attached to the National Entrepreneur Development Authority, representing divisional secretariats from across the island, played an instrumental role in the selection process for the recently concluded ‘Sampath Saviya’ programme.
Amongst this year’s programme entry criteria was a special criterion stipulating that 50 percent of all participating entrepreneurs be women. Special attention was also paid to differently-able entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs who have received technical training and degree holders in the selection process.
Entrepreneurs linked to the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) and provincial Chambers of Commerce and Industry were also encouraged to participate in the programme.
The Sampath Saviya programme aims to develop entrepreneurial competency and knowledge via high-calibre training. To maintain the programme’s quality and productivity at the highest possible standard, the number of entrepreneurs participating in a workshop was confined to 25 to 30 only.
The programme also placed a keen focus on highlighting the importance of harnessing inborn talents, in addition to competency and knowledge pertaining to step-by-step business planning. As a direct result of our efforts, we believe that after the programme, we played a crucial part in helping shape a community of confident and knowledgeable entrepreneurs,” an official said on the training methodology implemented at the Sampath Saviya entrepreneurship
Sampath Saviya is an entrepreneurship development programme that employs a globally accepted ‘CEFE’ training module - already in place in 140 countries - for the training of entrepreneurs. This year, the Sampath Saviya programme will be carried out islandwide from the period between May 2015 and May 2016, centring 223 Sampath Bank branches. If you are interested in participating in this programme, you are requested to visit the nearest Sampath Bank Branch Manager to receive all relevant information.
As a responsible corporate citizen committed towards achieving their primary objective of uplifting and accelerating the growth of our nation, Sampath Bank has firmly pledged to remain focused on uplifting and inspiring the entrepreneurs of the nation, as well as paving a collaborative path to enterprise success today, tomorrow and into the future.