On February 25th, 2022, Dr Dishan Jayasinha the President/CEO of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA met with the Derana Start Up 2021 Entrepreneurs, Natalie Samarasinghe, Project Manager of Derana Start up 2021 and Roshan Fernando, General Manager Marketing & Project Chair of Derana at the TV Derana studio in Sri Lanka to handover the prizes for the Winners.
See attached Video:
Concerning the national interest of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship among Sri Lanka’s youth, Derana STARTUP 2021, the much-needed entrepreneurial TV show is now ready to showcase the Top 30 competitors. Implemented in Sri Lanka through a tripartite partnership between YouLead, USAID’s youth skill development and entrepreneurship program together with the TV Derana network and a Jordanian nonprofit organization, Partners for Good, Derana STARTUP 2021 seek to create a culture of entrepreneurial job creators while promoting demand for entrepreneurship among youth across the island.
Addressing the need of the hour, statistics show that less than 5% of Sri Lankan youth who complete technical training advance to start their own business. This is partly because Sri Lankan youth are less inclined to pursue a path down the entrepreneurial avenue as a negative social perception exists towards youth who are seeking out to be an entrepreneur. Derana STARTUP 2021 seeks to break through this unfortunate stigma through an exciting and competitive TV program. By attracting youth to share what could be potentially groundbreaking ideas with the masses, a culture of entrepreneurship will be introduced to Sri Lanka. Working for the man is no longer what drives our youth, being your boss will become a reality through Derana STARTUP 2021 and youth unemployment will be an issue of years gone by.
Derana STARTUP 2021 is called out to all youth entrepreneurs below the age of 35 who have an innovative product or service with business operations not exceeding over 24 months under the entry categories of individual, group and school levels. Over 4000 applications were received representing a diverse applicant pool. The applications were reviewed by a selection committee consisting of industry professionals and academics based on several factors including but not limited to the level of innovativeness and creativity of the product or service, commercial viability, potential competitiveness, sustainability, employment generation, social acceptance and the potential to expand the business. The top 30 finalists were selected from four selection rounds and went through various training and development workshops. They were also assigned a successful industry leader as mentors to develop and guide their entrepreneurial journey. The top 30 finalists are now ready to present their entrepreneurial projects to the general public through the TV reality show Derana STARTUP 2021. The program telecasts on Saturday 9.30 PM, Sunday 8.30 AM on Ada Derana 24 Channel and Monday 11 AM on TV Derana starting from the 8th of January 2022. The LIVE online telecast will be broadcast on Saturday at 9.30 PM on Ada Derana 24 Youtube channel. The viewers can vote for the best entrepreneurial project through SMS. The winners get to take home a cash prize of LKR 4 Million.
Derana STARTUP 2021’s end goal is to use this innovative approach to support innovation, increase the outreach, change behaviors, perceptions and increase demand for entrepreneurship while creating a support network, mentoring culture and access to resources which will, in turn, provide the required support for youth to become innovative entrepreneurs. For more details on the program, interested parties may visit www.deranastartup.lk.