Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL), a youth assistance programme at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, provided loans to the value of Rs 250,000 to five youths from the Jaffna peninsula to start businesses, through the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yalpanam.
Pictures show the five beneficiaries who received the YBSL loans in Jaffna, and Dr. Anura Ekanayake, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce awarding the first YBSL beneficiary from Jaffna.
The total commitment during this initial phase for Jaffna is one million rupees, a spokesman for the YBSL said in a press release. The YBSL programme supports enterprising youth who have a viable business plan, aged between 18-35 years, but do not have collateral or supportive background, through a credit facility for business start up, supported with business mentoring. The initial credit assistance is limited to Rs 50,000 and to be paid back in 12 months.
Dr. Anura Ekanayake, Chairman of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and also Founder Trustee of Youth Business Sri Lanka, expressing his views to the media, said that it is a continuing problem for the youth, anywhere in Sri Lanka; to get financial assistance for their businesses due to procedural and collateral issues.
Youth assistance programmes like YBSL fulfill a valuable service in this regard not only improving the livelihood of the youth and their families, but also contribute to the development of the region, especially Jaffna, which is coming out of marginalization due to the decades long conflict, he further added. Chairman of Jaffna Chamber of Commerce, Mr P. Poornachandran, pointed that youth employment is a need of the hour in the context of post conflict Sri Lanka and this kind of credit support to youth to start businesses, would make them employment creators and thereby eliminate the factors that contributes to conflicts.
The specialties of the YBSL credit programme are that the loans are given based on the viability of the proposed business. In addition, the enterprising youth is linked to an experienced business person as a mentor. It is often cited that many small businesses started by youth fail because of the poor business decisions that these inexperienced youth make, mostly in managing finance, according to Sujeewa Ratnakumara, National Programme Manager of YBSL.