Enterprise Sri Lanka to revive entrepreneurship in post-war North | Daily News

Enterprise Sri Lanka to revive entrepreneurship in post-war North

Some of the products that De Silva has designed.
Some of the products that De Silva has designed.

The third phase of the Enterprise Sri Lanka National Exhibition series will be held in Jaffna from September 7–10 at the Mutraveli Grounds (in front of the Jaffna Dutch Fort).

The exhibition series specifically focuses on rekindling the entrepreneurship culture and spirit in Sri Lanka that once prevailed in ancient times. The first two exhibitions were held in Moneragala in August 2018 and in Anuradhapura in July this year.

As the first national exhibition to be held in Jaffna in over two decades, it is expected that over 400,000 people from the Northern and Eastern Provinces,would participate.

A special feature of the exhibition will be the series of workshops that will be held to help uplift the skills of local artisans and potential entrepreneurs.



Senaka De Silva. 
Pictures by Shan Rambukwella

International operations which are due to start at Palaly Airport later this year will undoubtedly provide a boost to the tourism industry in the region. Skills development therefore will be useful for local communities to reap the maximum benefit from the endless opportunities that would be open to the region with the introduction of regular commercial air travel and tourism.

The exhibition will consist of many skill development workshops conducted by professionals in the respective industries.

A 10-day skills development workshop for palmyrah leaf craftsmen to introduce new design trends and product diversification will be conducted by Senaka De Silva from September 1 to 10.

Renowned designer De Silva will also conduct a train-the-trainers programme for handloom weavers. The programme will enhance the efforts taken by the provincial Industries Department to revive and establish Jaffna’s once-famous handloom industry.

“I’m really glad that I got the opportunity to undertake this project, especially because as a child I used to live in Jaffna. Palmyrah leaf products and handloom products have their own charm and the people of Jaffna are specially skilled in making these products. However, sadly due to the war, all these skills deteriorated. This series of exhibitions and workshops would be a great opportunity to put things back on track and bring the industry into the limelight with new design trends,” he said.

All participants at the workshops will be awarded a certificate upon completion of each workshop.

There will be a half-day workshop on beauty culture and hygiene for about 100–200 participants conducted by Janet Cosmetics, which would be open to all women interested in learning more about personal grooming from the experts in the field. The programme will be of particular value to aspiring young entrepreneurs seeking to open their own beauty salons. A broader demonstration of various personal care products available in the market will also be carried out during the workshop.

Batik printing is an industry that is relatively new, but gradually gaining popularity in the region. Identifying the importance of diversifying the gifts and souvenir segment in the marketplace, Enterprise Sri Lanka will host a workshop on the fundamentals of batik printing on September 9, at the exhibition premises, starting from 9.30 am. The workshop will be conducted by Eric Suriyasena, a veteran hotelier and a specialist in the field.

Women entrepreneurs play a vital part in rebuilding the economy of the region and the country as a whole. In order to encourage female participation in the economy, the exhibition organisers invite all young women interested in starting their own enterprise in the lucrative industry of bridal dressing to take part in the bridal dressing workshop and competition to be held on the last day (September 10) at the exhibition venue. The workshop on bridal dressing will be conducted by Nimal Abeysiriwardhane.

The Enterprise Sri Lanka programme was launched in line with Vision 2025 – the government’s economic vision for the country. Vision 2025 which sets out a course of reforms to make Sri Lanka more competitive and lift the standard of living of all Sri Lankans ranges from labour law reform to restructuring social safety net programmes to boosting technology acquisition and digitisation.

The Enterprise Sri Lanka programme that was launched as a part of Vision 2025 aims to create 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2025. The programme has so far approved credit facilities amounting to over Rs. 80 billion.

In order to take the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme to the doorstep of the people of our country and enable greater citizen participation and interaction, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera introduced the Enterprise Sri Lanka National Exhibition Series in 2018.


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