The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, founded in 1948 after Sri Lanka gained independence has been serving the local business community for their development for over 65 years. Subsequently the Chamber initiated a program to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well. As a part of this exercise the Chamber initiated the formation of Trincomalee District Chamber of Commerce and Vavuniya District Chamber of Commerce in 2002.
In 2006 the Chamber was supported by the Royal Netherlands Government through the Embassy of Netherlands in Sri Lanka to take forward the SME development programme through “Grow Your Business Project” which set up the Business Promotion Fund (BPF).
Under the BPF, potential MSMEs whose expansion of businesses became limited due to non-availability of Capital were financially supported through a grant on a cost sharing basis. The project is now almost completed with remarkable favorable results. Post evaluation, conducted, has shown that the project so far has increased employment by 48.1%.
Another significant achievement is the mindset of the MSME owners. As a result of the project, recipients of assistance became a recognized group in the business world contributing significantly to the country’s economic development. This, to a certain extent, is a cultural revolution in Sri Lankan MSME sector where MSMEs were accepted as effective businessmen by the society as against a neglected group as they were identified earlier. Their recognition in the country as businessmen were further strengthened when the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka offered them membership of the Chamber.
Goal of the Project were:
To create a sustainable SME sector in the country with a significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) & employment generation.
Main Activities Supported by the Project
Priority Sectors were
Beauty Culture & Bridal Dressing
Ceramic & Clay Based Products
Coconut & Coconut Based
Construction & Building Materials
Garments & Textiles
Hotel & Tourism
Leather & Leather Based
Milk , Milk Based & Fruit Drinks
Vehicle Repairs & Service Stations
Paddy, Rice Mill & Spice Grinding
Printing, Paper & Paper Based
Processing of Ayurvedic Drink etc.
Confectionery & Food Processing
|Direct or Indirect Exports
Handbags, Cushion Covers etc.
Gems & Jewellery
Handicrafts Including Brasswear
Nursery, Horticulture, Floriculture
Some of the photos taken at these sessions