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"The aim of Enterprise Sri Lanka is to create 100,000 new entrepreneurs in the next year and further strengthen existing ones," Finance Minister Samaraweera said.
He said the program covers a broad range of activities in agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, small-scale apparel and tourism.
Samaraweera said a large number of young people could not enter university as places were limited and the program will help those who had various skills to become entrepreneurs.
For the current year 5 billion rupees will be spent on interest subsidies.
He said the actual experience the world over had shown that women were excellent businesswomen but they were usually relegated to stereotypical areas.
"Under this program we are giving an extra 10 percent interest concession to women entrepreneurs," Samaraweera said.
"Disabled soldiers and other disabled people who want to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills will also be given an extra 10 percent concession."
In parallel a nation-wide program called 'Gam Peraliya' aimed at uplifting rural villages has been launched.
The 64 billion rupee scheme aimed at improving village infrastructure, will include the rehabilitation of 4,000 tanks and weekly markets.
Small places of worship will also be repaired.
A 'green garden' with wi-fi facilities and where people can meditate and exercise will be provided at each district secretariat level.
There will also be entrepreneurship coaching centres. (Colombo/June23/2018)