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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
19 maart 2005

Shell Sri Lanka boosts local entrepreneurship

Before the end of this year Shell LiveWIRE will conduct sixty workshops on motivation and business planning throughout the country, including in areas that are under control of the LTTE, the Tamil liberation movement. The local Chambers of Commerce will open help desks to provide mentoring services for a minimum of one year. And the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies will provide some funding. Dr. Mahesha Ranasoma, Director Marketing and Corporate Affairs of Shell Sri Lanka, commented on this initiative to P+: "For over five years we have been involved in creating enterprise opportunities for youth, especially in underdeveloped and rural areas. We have shown young people between the age of 16 and 32 that there is another option then just waiting for a job offer: starting your own business. So, by now we know what it asks to set up a business. The tsunami has left many people, especially widows, without income. They do not know how to create an economically viable position. But the potential is there. Micro enterprises are an essential part of the Sri Lankan economy." Shell delivers the technical support for the workshops. After that the Chambers of Commerce will help the candidates in writing their business plan and will direct them to seed capital. At the moment, it is not so much the lack of skills or motivation that hampers the development of businesses, but the lack of micro credits. In order to overcome the problems of finding seed capital, Shell has made an arrangement with the Central Bank in Sri Lanka on a loan scheme for micro enterprises. The support of Shell and of the Chambers of Commerce is expected to boost the credibility of the business plans and hence the willingness of banks to provide seed capital to new entrepreneurs. P+ Webtip: Shell Sri Lanka