Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera at the launch of the 'Enterprise Sri Lanka' (ESL) program recently said the country must develop a comprehensive entrepreneurship structure that encourages people, especially graduates, to embark on building their own businesses.
Under the ESL program, "Arabuma" loan scheme has been tailor-made for the youth to encourage young graduates to enter into the economic development process by turning their innovative business ideas into potential businesses. The scheme ensures the cash flow through loans at zero interest rate, with a full government guarantee.
Under the program of supporting to SME companies, the youth are invited to establish SME companies with the technical support of the government and the needed financial and non financial supports is also provided to that companies could engage in any business from agriculture to apparels to IT.
The Finance Minister said that ESL also has several other target groups including micro-enterprises, self-employees, young entrepreneurs as well as selected vital groups of society.
Samaraweera said that at present whenever enterpreneurs called over at banks, they were asked to name suitable guarantors. As a result, even if they had a good business proposal, they were unable to obtain a bank facility.
That era is going to end. We have held a meeting with state banks and instructed them to have a separate Enterprise Sri Lanka desk staffed by employees knowledgeable on the loan scheme, he said.