“All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.”
– Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder LinkedIn –

Youth entrepreneurship has a positive influence on society’s social, cultural, and economic advancement. Working towards Youth Entrepreneurship programs and training may help address and prevent many of the challenges that countries face today, paving the way for a brighter future and more progressive cultures throughout the world. Since the future of a nation lies in the hands of its youth, they should be molded with the necessary skills, training, education and opportunities, especially related to the corporate sector, to strive for their goals. 

In its 4th effectuate year, the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit 2022 (YES’22), became immensely successful in covering all the Sustainable Development Goals being the only project of the club to do so.

To provide our youth with the essential skills and resources to enhance their business concepts so that they may begin to expand and scale their businesses, creating jobs not only for themselves but also for others, YES’22 focused on sharpening the entrepreneurial skills of the youth, spread knowledge on entrepreneurship, highlight the importance of effective entrepreneurial skills, provide an opportunity to startup business holders to interact with potential investors and track down the powerful business mind amidst the youth at present and expose them to potential investors.

The project consisted of two major phases; the first comprised training sessions that taught participants how to pitch businesses, plan them, apply for business loans, and incorporate Sustainable Development Goals into their operations.

The second phase was comprised of contests to choose the best business proposal and the most popular business plan and we sought the support of a judging panel of professionals in the industry in this.

Out of the registrations for the competition, 12 teams were qualified for the semi-final round; Aquaspace Sri Lanka, Happy Liver Porridge, Kawumkokis.com, Manu Lanka, Studybuddyzone, Wonka Plaza, Durianzila, RHS BeeHoney, D-Tech, Recover, Ceylon tea culture and Helarasa.

Each competitor was given an opportunity pitch their startup or business and was examined by experts in the field namely; Mr. Yasas Kodituwakku- CEO – Damn Fine Coffee Roasters & Fits Retail, Mr. Abith Latiff- Manager – Startup Ecosystem Development at ICTA, Ms. Sasmini Bandara- Mission Accomplishment Officer – Good Life X, Mr. Lakmal Weeramanthri- President / Director – Ceylon Career Guidance Association,  Director – EVOL Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Mr . Chathuranga Abeyratne – Chief Financial Officer, Aberdeen Holdings, Mr. Mohan Perera – Assistant Factory Manager, Lanka Tiles  PLC, Mr. Joey Perera – Entrepreneur & Earth Advocate, and Dr. Rukmal Weerasinghe – Senior Lecturer, Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

The competition winners were given the opportunity to pitch their enterprises to potential investors while also receiving cash prizes at the final event, which was held physically on a grand scale at the Sri Sumangala Auditorium of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

A voiceover of the event was also streamed on Sirasa TV. The team successfully completed the project on May 31, 2022, with the help of collaborations from Aberdeen Holdings, SLIM, 10,000 Ideas, and Square Hub.

We believe that through this project, we were able to motivate, encourage and educate the young entrepreneurs while successfully addressing all the Sustainable Development Goals.

We were able to inspire the youth and the impact could be seen in how the contestants appreciated our initiative for giving them the opportunity to be recognized in the corporate world. Even we ourselves were inspired by the capability of the youth in Sri Lanka and their efforts in working towards the betterment of our country and the world.

Finally, a small piece of advice for all the young entrepreneurs out there and for those who dream to be one. Trust your instincts, have a clear vision and mission and believe in yourself. Let not failures drag you down but move you towards success. If you have enough courage to pursue your dreams, start today itself.

Above all think big and act smart!

Written by : Rtr. Malithi Fernando

2 Comments

  1. Hasini Wijayasantha

    well penned Malithiii 👏

    Reply
    • Malithi Fernando

      Thank you akki.

      Reply

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