6th March 2009; Colombo, Sri Lanka
 
Technology driven globalization is creating unprecedented opportunities for anyone from anywhere to create business in a way which was unimaginable several years ago. We are clearly entering to an idea economy! The potential to create significant wealth through business will only be limited by one’s imagination.
 
Graduate Enterprise Challenge (GEC) is a business plan competition that is open to undergraduate and graduate students in Sri Lanka. It is organized collectively by the British Council and Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM). GEC is a follow-up project to the National Entrepreneurship Week Sri Lanka 2008 (NEW 08) conducted in November 2008.
 
British Council has pioneered ‘Graduate Entrepreneurship’ development in Sri Lanka under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and the University Grants Commission. Graduate Enterprise Challenge is the latest of a series of activities organized by the British Council funded by the UK Prime Minister’s Initiative (PMI2) for the development of international education partnerships.
 
The joint venture between British Council and SLASSCOM aims to promote technology entrepreneurship and encourage business networks between graduate enterprises in Sri Lanka and the UK
 
SLASSCOM Entrepreneurship and Innovation forum is set with the aim to drive technology entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. SLASSCOM acts as the catalyst of growth for the Sri Lankan IT and BPO industry by facilitating trade and business, propagation of education and employment, encouragement of research and innovation, and by supporting the creation of a progressive national policy framework.
 
The objective of the initiative is to create awareness about graduate entrepreneurship amongst university students and staff, identify potential graduate entrepreneurs and provide training about business planning and enterprise start-up.
 
There are 3 stages to the challenge. The first stage is the ‘business idea competition’. To enter the challenge a summary of a business idea must be sent to the GEC organising committee by e-Mail to newideas@britishcouncil.org on or before 20 March 2009. 10 best ideas will be selected based on innovation and preliminary feasibility.
 
In the second stage a one week ‘residential workshop’ on business planning and enterprise start-up will be provided to the selected candidates of the Graduate Enterprise Challenge. It will be conducted by trainers from the UK and will be held at Uva Wellassa University from 28 March to 1 April 2009.
 
The final stage is the ‘business plan competition’ where the candidates will prepare their business plans and present them to a panel of potential investors. The best plans will be selected and presented to potential investors.
 
More information including eligibility criteria and guidelines are available at www.britishcouncil.org/srilanka-projects-and-networking-gec.