million SME stimulus plan ready
New SME Bank to be created
Sri Lanka's small and medium entrepreneurs may be
in lucks way if a mega project aimed at stimulating the SME economy
succeeds in the next few years. A new integrated US$100 million
SME economy stimulus package is to be presented for approval to
President Chandrika Kumaratunga by the 8-member National Council
for Economic Development (NCED) Committee tasked with developing
the nation's SME sector. The meeting is scheduled for October 7.
an intensive two-month study of the SME sector, the NCED Committee
has identified 22 priority issues and developed an integrated solutions
plan to solve 133 long-standing issues facing 125,000 SME entrepreneurs
in the country, officials said.
SME Cluster committee has recommended that 1000 Entrepreneur Villages
be identified for targeted, integrated development, with a comprehensive
programme that provides all available inputs from all SME enabling
stakeholders. Entrepreneurial skills will be identified and developed
at each village by a team of mentors.
unified information technology tool based, customer service relationship
oriented, Entrepreneur Bank and an Enterprise Equity Fund will also
be established with local and foreign stakeholder participation
to tap strategic, mission critical inputs and exemplar corporate
governance standards. Chris Mahinda Dharmakirti, co-chairman of
the NCED SME Cluster Committee, told The Sunday Times FT that, "these
two institutions will be an example to the rest of the financial
community in its operating philosophy, management focus, and deployment
of entrepreneur focused SME enabling services."
said the Bank will create a world first in combining B2B on-line
auction and community based Business Development Services; 24/7
Entrepreneur Empowerment Advisory and Support Services; and a unique
multi-lingual portal based on-line account access and loan approval
bankers and VCs will not wait for entrepreneurs to come to them,
they will go to the enterprise premises and conduct due-diligence
in-situ, so that the equity or debt funding requirements are assessed
along with gaps in skills, expertise, process management and technology
identified early with proactive solutions," he said.
added that Sri Lankan entrepreneurs around the world will be served
by these two institutions, with a particular emphasis to develop
our nation's export market access competitiveness, and branded product
a former Vice President of the US$4.5 billion PCCW venture capital
fund, is credited with creating over 10,000 millionaire entrepreneurs
through the launch of Star TV satellite and cable TV service across
42 countries in 1990, and the global broadband information technology
boom in the late nineties with Intel. He is back in Sri Lanka to
head the SME Cluster Committee at NCED, and has also been appointed
a director of the Employees Trust Fund Board.
aim is to support a truly cluster-based production system, with
sustainable relations developing among the SMEs themselves and between
the SMEs and local institutions.
It is anticipated that such linkages will develop as integrated
networks; between BDS providers and brokers; between large, medium
and small-scale enterprises; between the clusters and local governments;
and between the local systems and the national support institutions,"