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Business Development Activities

With the commencement of the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP) in the Ratnapura action was taken to divert investments to manufacturing and agricultural areas with a view to eliminate poverty while disbursing the financial resources to undeveloped rural areas. In this connection numbers of plans were prepared after number of research projects undertaken and also substantial sums were invested to train youth and upgrade their management and technical skills. Under this program numbers of trade associations were established at different Divisional Secretary Division (DSD) levels. In addition to the above there were number of trade and industry associations formed by the state sector institutions involved in providing assistance and extension services to manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Although the final outcome of these programs and strategies were not very effective some enthusiasm was developed among the youth in the province to commence various income-generating activities.

With the changing trends in the development sphere, which advocated the development of the private sector completely, changed the approach of the state from development of the social infrastructure to development of the private sector. The development of the private sector was viewed as a strategy to provide employment opportunities to needy youth.

As a result of this approach Chamber development was undertaken by the state prerequisite to rural economic development. Under this approach the Sabaragamuwa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) was established in the year 1997 with the participation of the prominent private sector business community in the district. With the establishment of the SCCI the strategies so far adopted to foster private sector business development and economic development was changed and more prominence was given to result oriented and systematic approaches. In assisting the private sector one major constrained identified was the lack of information about the existing activities of the business community. In other words the information about who is in which business and their capacities and type of operation are not available and it constraint implementation of any meaningful program for their development. Under the new program where the SCCI propose to systematize the development process preparation of a Directory and an Information and training for especially micro entrepreneurs for industry development and operation in the district has been undertaken.

Business Promotional Activities
    Presenting businessman for tours and exhibitions overseas.
    Providing businessman with professional guidance and employees when needed.
    Conducting and organizing management training programmes.
    Conducting awareness programmes on labor laws and business taxes
    Organizing technical training programmes
    Directing the members for entrepreneurship training programmes
    Creating an business organization network.
    Organizing and conducting business exhibitions
    Offering Help in solving issues that arise and that will affect the businessman in the area and make the government officers aware on the same by the Ratnapura District Enterprise Forum
    Presenting the problems faced by the businessman in the area to the President and acquire solutions.
    Organizing get-togethers among the business people in the area, thus paving the way to new business opportunities and enhance relationships.