NEDA gears for island-wide youth entrepreneur drive

Sri Lanka’s apex entrepreneurship developer operated by the State, the National Enterprise Development Agency (NEDA), is now on a major youth entrepreneur drive-and the latest node in Sri Lanka’s grassroots market network will start operations to serve small-time young farmers and fisher-folk in the Northern Province’s Mannar district.

“We encourage our youth to not be a burden on public resources,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister Bathiudeen who is also a Vanni District MP, was addressing the inauguration of the Vidatha Resource Centre in Museli, Mannar on Thursday.

State Minister of Technology and Research, Lakshman Seneviratne was also present..

The National Enterprise Development Agency (NEDA) works with Vidatha.

There are many informal partnerships between Vidatha offices and the NEDA field network.

State Minister of Technology and Research Lakshman Seneviratne and Minister Susil Premajayantha have also extended their support for this project.

Minister Bathiudeen said, “As per the youth development vision of the Government, we are working on providing one million jobs, with least burden on state resources.We encourage our youth to be not a burden on the public resources and therefore greatly support them to commence in entrepreneurship. NEDA is working on serving this aim and its graduate entrepreneurship project the ‘Upadidharee Vyavasayaka Udaanaya’ is a major project.

Under this project 215 graduates have been introduced to technology based new SME start-ups at a cost of more than Rs 32 million. 13 graduates from the total 215 are selected from North.”

State Minister Lakshman Seneviratne said that Vidatha’s vision is to empower grassroots.

“The Vidatha program started in 2004. It is to boost the rural economy and enhance its contribution to national development” added Minister Seneviratne.

To-date, over 260 Vidatha Resource Centres (VRC) covering the entire island are in operation representing 80% of the total number of DS divisions of the country. 

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