Over 40% of Sri Lankan MSMEs are unregistered, making it more difficult to open bank accounts, to get loans, licenses and permits for their enterprises.
Women entrepreneurs face additional difficulties in all of these areas.
Now, with the support of the European Union (EU), registering a business in Sri Lanka is about to get easier.
The Ministry of Small and Medium Business and Enterprise Development has received Cabinet approval to establish business services centres (One-Stop-Shops) in the 25 districts to facilitate regulatory functions and business development.
Those business service centres will streamline the registration process and assist in access to technology, quality control and access to markets.
They will have a web portal that will be linked to Business Development Service providers, Regulatory Authorities, Financial Institutions and Banks to serve the MSMEs.
The service centres will be housed within and managed by the District Secretariat of each district. Service providers at district level will work closely with the respective centres to provide their services as required.
Chrysalis, British Council and CARE Germany together with the EU worked closely with officials of the former Ministry of Industries and Commerce to conceptualize and set up the business service cerntres.
As a first step, four business service centres will be set up in the Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, and Monaragala districts.
“There are many entrepreneurs in our district with various constraints holding them back from development.
I firmly believe that through this Business Service Center we will be able to fill the gaps and bring these entrepreneurs to the required level and bring the products and services of this district to an international level.” – Mr. Chandana Lokuhewage, Additional Government Agent – Monaragala
H.E. Denis Chaibi, Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lankan and the Maldives said, “I am delighted to see that our support to the project in Uva and Central province will be replicated in all districts and that it will become easier for all those that want to start a business, to get registered and to get support from the local business services providers in a one stop solution.”