Mapping Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurship ecosystem
Providing support to entrepreneurs is increasingly seen as a crucial tool to ensure a thriving business environment and economic growth. As such, innovation and entrepreneurship is a central issue of the National Export Strategy (NES) of Sri Lanka 2018-2022, which among many goals, sets out to improve the country’s national business environment and improve access to finance for start-ups.
To further strengthen the Sri Lankan government’s support to small business, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has conducted a network analysis of institutions providing support to entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The findings of this mapping are set out in a report entitled Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Sri Lanka.
The objective was to understand and capture the interactions among actors in the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and to identify gaps or overlaps in support to entrepreneurs in the country. It differentiates the nature of those connections and identifies gaps in services and provides recommendations for institutional strengthening.
Sri Lanka’s myriad of start-ups is heavily focused on the tech sector. This has a strong growth potential, which explains why the tech ecosystem has seen rapid growth
Encouraging female entrepreneurship and strengthen support to entrepreneurs in regions outside of Colombo, the capital, were identified as areas to focus on to improve the business ecosystem. In addition, the mapping points to new lines of support services, especially to more mature start-ups to enable these to expand to foreign markets, and increased business skills training.
The findings of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Sri Lanka provides key findings on the services offered in the ecosystem based on the interviews conducted with Sri Lankan institutions. It explores how institutions within entrepreneurship ecosystem in Sri Lanka – with an emphasis on Colombo and Jaffna – interact using network analysis techniques. The report also captures insights from entrepreneurs in terms of their experience navigating the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
In December 2018, ITC convened 10 key institutions to validate the report in Colombo. Participants from the institutions were active members of the ecosystem to support entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The group discussed the report findings and provided key feedback to finalise the analysis and ensure the report provides an accurate representation of the situation in the country.
Download Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Sri Lanka.
This article was written by ICTA (Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka) and the International Trade Centre.