Strengthening startup ecosystems in South Asia A Boot Camp for Young Entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka


Observer Report


The SAARC CCI Startup Boot Camp was successfully held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 13th to 14th of December 2019, organized by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) and in collaboration with Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Academy of Digital Business (ADB). The Boot Camp was a training programme for Sri Lankan young entrepreneurs who had just started their business ventures.
In fact, the Boot Camp held in Sri Lanka has been the 5th training programme in a series of SAARC CCI Boot Camps scheduled to be held in every country in South Asia.
In line with the recommendations of SAARC Startup Vision Summit 2018, the series of SAARC CCI Boot Camps are being organised with the intention of developing a mechanism to ensure cross border learning, exposure and mentoring for startups and to strengthen startup ecosystems across South Asia, especially in the South Asian countries with no startup ecosystems or least developed startup ecosystems.
The 1st SAARC CCI Boot camp was held in Kathmandu Nepal in April 2019, the 2nd Boot Camp was in Dhaka Bangladesh in June 2019, the 3rd Boot Camp occurred in Male Maldives in September 2019, the 4th Boot Camp held in Lahore Pakistan in October 2019, the 5th Boot Camp was successfully organized on 13th-14th December 2019 in Colombo Sri Lanka.
The main objective of the SAARC CCI Boot Camp in Colombo was to guide and train the young Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to develop their startups into the next levels of their business ventures, to give them an opportunity to present their startups to a panel of mentors and business experts thereby gaining their feedback on the startups, direct constructive advice, and to give the young trainers an opportunity to have access to valuable business networks across South Asia and beyond.