Aiming to foster entrepreneurial mindsets among school children in Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, together with the Ministry of Education and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives will launch the Schoolpreneur 2023: School Entrepreneurship Day, across Sri Lanka, on 16th November.

Schoolpreneur 2023 will span across schools in all nine provinces of the country, with one district chosen from each province to host the event: Anuradhapura, Badulla, Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Puttalam, Ratnapura, Trincomalee and Vavuniya.

Endorsed by the Ministry of Education, the inclusion of School Entrepreneurship Day in the annual school calendar is designed to act as a catalyst to promote and highlight entrepreneurism among school children across Sri Lanka. This initiative is geared towards cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit and a set of skills in youth with the goal of contributing to Sri Lanka’s sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.  

Entrepreneurship is a fundamental pillar of a nation’s socio-economic well-being. It fuels innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Entrepreneurs introduce new ideas, products, and services, spurring competition and enhancing the overall quality of life. They also contribute to the diversification of industries and reduce the nation’s dependence on a single economic sector. Furthermore, entrepreneurship empowers individuals to seize control of their financial destinies, nurturing a sense of self-reliance and autonomy. By imparting these essential skills to young children early on, Schoolpreneur 2023  will serve as a significant catalyst in promoting entrepreneurship among youth.

Mr. M. N. Ranasinghe, the Secretary of the Ministry of Education stated “Entrepreneurship holds significant significance for our nation at the present time. I extend my gratitude to CCC, ILO, and their collaborative partners for enabling this. Notably, we have witnessed substantial advancements in fostering entrepreneurship within educational institutions, including the establishment of entrepreneurship clubs nationwide.”

Speaking on this initiative, Ms. Simrin Singh, the Director of the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives stated “This ILO initiative expects to make a significant contribution in nurturing youth entrepreneurship within the nation, especially amongst school students who are not targeted under traditional entrepreneurship development programs on offer. Entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in driving economic growth and progress. Investing in nurturing this skill early, already at secondary school level is sure to prepare youth better as they seek a brighter future of work, and contribute to the well-being of their families, communities and country.”

Adding to this, Buwanekabahu Perera, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce stated “At this moment in Sri Lanka, our primary goal is to attain economic stability. To achieve this, it is essential that we nurture entrepreneurship and leadership abilities in the country’s youth to stimulate innovation. I extend my gratitude to all our partners within the entrepreneurship ecosystem nationwide for their support in making this initiative a resounding success.”

Schoolpreneur 2023 is a flagship initiative of ILO’s South Asia Leadership in Entrepreneurship (SALE) project, which seeks to facilitate a change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and bolster young people’s transition into the entrepreneurial world.

Through strategic interventions such as these, ILO’s SALE project, funded by the U.S Department of State endeavours to create a shift in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and enhance capacity among the youth to enable them to launch and grow their own business ventures.   

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Photo Caption– Left to right: Manori Dissanayake, Senior Assistant Secretary General, CCC, Buwanekabau Perera, Secretary General and CEO, CCC, M.N. Ranasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Simrin Singh, Country Director, ILO, Thomas Kring, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO , Chandrani Hettiarachchi,  Director, Ministry of Education

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