Business Promotion Fund


Business Promotion Fund Sponsored by 
the Royal Netherlands Government 

Executive Summary 

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.

Key Objectives

  • To create a sustainable SME sector with a significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • To generate employment
  • To increase the self-reliance of Small & Medium Entrepreneurs.
  • To help SMEs to adjust to the changing market conditions
  • To enhance competitiveness of SME Products
  • To encourage modern technology in production.
  • To encourage more value addition
  • To increase market opportunities for SMEs
  • To increase diversity of skills of SMEs

Main Activities Supported by the Project

  • Purchase of processing machineries directly involved in the production
  • Purchase of other equipment involved in the main production
  • Purchase of equipment directly related to the service industry
  • Obtaining specialized services (certification, hiring consultants etc)
  • Participation at special trade promotion activities
  • Purchase of office equipment, lands & building construction is not included in the project

Priority Sectors were

  • Tsunami affected SMEs in the Hotel sector
  • Women entrepreneurs
  • Small & Medium Entrepreneurs ( SME outside Colombo & Gampaha Districts particularly those in the less developed regions were given preference)


  • Any local, Small & Medium Enterprises engage in manufacturing, processing/ service Sector.
  • Registered as a business (Proprietorship / Partnership / limited liability Company) and has been in business for more than two years.
  • Given employment to three (3) to twenty (20) workers
  • Annual turnover below Rs. 10.0 M.
  • Located in out of Colombo and Gampaha Districts.
  • Trading is not considered.

Sectors Covered

Local Industry
Beauty Culture & Bridal Dressing
Ceramic & Clay Based Products
Coconut & Coconut Based
Construction & Building Materials
Garments & Textiles
Herbals Medicine
Hotel & Tourism
Janitorial Service
Leather & Leather Based
Light Engineering
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
Cinnamon Oil
Coconut Fiber
Handbags, Cushion Covers etc.
Gems & Jewellery
Handicrafts Including Brasswear
Nursery, Horticulture, Floriculture
Ornamental Fish

Some of the photos taken at these sessions




Business Promotion Fund – Video

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