(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – In a bid to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in the Country, Sampath Bank held a one-day workshop themed ‘Business Startups’ as part of the Bank’s ‘Sampath Saviya’ Entrepreneurship Development Programme in Galle, in partnership with the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Galle Regional Chamber.
The workshop covered key areas that included developing soft skills required to initiate and manage a startup, facilitated by a panel of business leaders including Deepal Sooriyarachchi, Director of Sampath Bank PLC and Management Consultant, Executive Coach and Author; and Chandana Gunawardane, Human Potential Development Trainer and Author. Over 400 students who had completed their Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations as well as students from the Galle Vocational Training Institute and number of entrepreneurs from the region, participated at the workshop.
“Youth unemployment is a crucial issue in Sri Lanka which unless well-managed on time is likely to create an insurmountable socio-cultural situation in the future. Through ‘Sampath Saviya’ we strive to help Sri Lankan youth to be job creators and business leaders who can become part of a progressive economy. We believe, this is a way of promoting a sustainable solution to the issue,” commented Deputy General Manager – Branch Banking at Sampath Bank, Thusitha Nakandala.
The Department of Census and Statistics reveal that each year 30% of the candidates who sit for the G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination do not qualify to sit for the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination whilst only 11% of the candidates obtain the opportunity to enter local universities. This status quo largely contributes to the inequality of opportunities in the local economy. Assisting the youth to look beyond the traditional methods to pursue success and learn the necessary skills and attitudes to look for business success, is a viable solution to the existing problem.
As one of Sampath Bank’s core Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts, ‘Sampath Saviya’ strives to fulfill this requirement. Through ‘Sampath Saviya’, the Bank provided technical support as well as financial assistance to over 2,000 Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), including exporters since 2013. The workshop held at Galle facilitated the participants to acquire valuable skills such as an entrepreneurial mindset, key approaches to effective leadership, methods of using creativity and innovation as well as the value of setting realistic goals along the way to success.
Since the inception in 2013, ‘Sampath Saviya’ programme has conducted numerous projects focusing on MSMEs empowerment for the development of Sri Lankan economy by covering various regions of the country.