Ten young entrepreneurs from Sri Lankan attended the inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Summit held in Mumbai from 13-15 December. The summit was organised by the Young Indians (YI), the youth wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE). The summit brought together over 200 entrepreneurs from Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
A business delegation compromising of 10 young entrepreneurs was led by Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Projects and Services of the Federation head membership Krishantha Wisenthige. The FCCISL is the focal point for CAAYE in Sri Lanka.
The summit was a very good opportunity for Sri Lankan Young Entrepreneurs to learn, network and develop B2B linkages with entrepreneurs in the region. Participants met all the different delegates, explored potential opportunities with them and got to know successful entrepreneurs and their journey.
The capstone Summit spread over four sessions with a galaxy of over 20 speakers from India and across the Region. The summit consisted various sessions with distinguished speakers and stalwarts from the industry, discussed topics which imbibe the values of entrepreneurship.
These sessions included were building an entrepreneur ecosystem, access to finance, infrastructure, regulations and taxes, education and skills development entrepreneurship as a career, education as a business opportunity, breaking trade barriers trading blocs and reform in import policies (shift from protecting producers to benefiting consumers), funding young entrepreneurs and doing business in India.
The CAAYE Young Entrepreneur Summit is an annual event where young entrepreneurs from all the Commonwealth-Asia region countries collectively meet for three days to network, build business linkages, conduct field studies, attend learning sessions and jointly prepare a set of recommendations to improve the ecosystem of youth entrepreneurship in the form of an official communiqué that would be submitted to member Governments through the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The focus of the 2012 edition of the Summit was to share best practices and prepare recommendations for improving ‘access to finance’ to young entrepreneur.
A key outcome of the summit was the finalisation of the communiqué which contained constructive policy recommendations that young entrepreneurs wished to suggest to Governments to take to improve the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem across the eight Commonwealth-Asia countries.
During the three-day stay in Mumbai, the entrepreneurs also conducted field visits to Mahindra Manufacturing Plant, Dharavi Slums and Mumbai Dabbawallas, among others.
The group also attended the leadership assembly, organised at the sideline of the summit, where various country representatives converge to discuss the alliance progress.
“This was a superlative opportunity for Sri Lankan young entrepreneurs to discuss various aspects of entrepreneurship, business networking and exploring partnership opportunities with peers”, said Wisenthige.
He also stated that FCCISL is looking forward to bring a larger delegation at the 2013 Entrepreneurs Summit, so that more Sri Lankans would benefit from the exposure.