Dr. Rohan Samarajiva - Chairman, ICTA and Ms. Ankhi Das - Public Policy Director - India, South & Central Asia, Facebook enter partnership to empower youth and entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka
Facebook’s global ‘Boost Your Business’ program is now available for the youth and entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka. Recognizing the potential of the country’s small business owners, Facebook has partnered with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka to train 10,000 small business owners across the country by the close of 2018. In the first phase, the programmed will cover Colombo, Galle, Kandy and Jaffna.
The inaugural ‘Boost Your Business’ workshop, to be organized in Colombo on 16th May, will orient, teach and train entrepreneurs’ on the effective use of Facebook to grow and monetize their businesses online. The workshop will specifically teach attendees to build a digital presence for free, leverage the mobile economy to gain market access and grow their businesses.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Rohan Samarajiva, Chairman, ICTA said, “Our goal is to create a digitally inclusive country with a strong and vibrant economy. With Facebook's reach and support, we will be taking a step forward in leveraging the potential of ICTs for the economic betterment of the country”.
Elaborating on the program, Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director - India, South & Central Asia - Facebook said, “In a growing economy like Sri Lanka, small and medium businesses are imperative for boosting employment and economic growth. With this program we will empower local businesses by providing training and resources to build up a digital presence and grow their businesses beyond what the traditional offline economies offer. We believe that we can be a Net Contributor to the economy of Sri Lanka.”
‘BoostYourBusiness’ will complement the SMART Social Circles initiative by the ICTA to promote digital literacy and foster ethical and responsible use of social media. Facebook will also work with ICTA to develop a strategic roadmap for a collaborative information sharing platform for citizens under the SMART Social Circle initiative. Persons coordinating SMART Social Circles at district level will also be trained on the use of Facebook tools to share community updates.
As more and more people turn to the web and to their phones to discover and connect with businesses, it’s crucial that small businesses have an online presence. One reason small businesses succeed, or fail is their ability to attract customers. But with limited time and limited resources, this is expensive and hard for small businesses to do.
There are more than 60 million businesses around the world who actively use Facebook Pages because they are free, easy to use, and they work well on mobile. Small businesses discover Facebook for their business because they know how to use it personally: setting up a Page is just as easy as setting up a profile. And Facebook is where their customers already are.
Boost Your Business Training will lead to increased collaboration and sharing of information between the government and connected regions of Sri Lanka and increased interaction and information sharing across regions as far as, Galle, Kandy and Jaffna.
Sri Lanka Fact sheet
• Sri Lanka has 6 million + active internet users around the country [Pre-internet ban]
• Sri Lanka has a growing Facebook community with over 5 million users
• The country has 25 million + mobile users
• Sri Lanka’s internet penetration is 30%