Small Business Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy and many SMEs took a hit following the pandemic.SMEs provide 45% of the employment and contributes to 52% of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of the country.Having recognized that the main drawback of the SME sector is the lack of knowledge in marketing, the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) actively promotes marketing skills as a driving force to enhance business and national value.
The SLIM SME Development Awards is a celebration organized under SLIM’s ‘Restart Sri Lanka’ initiation, to reward the outstanding efforts of SMEs in the marketing, branding and sales of their enterprises. The Restart Sri Lanka Initiative commenced in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s office to provide the impetus for Sri Lankan businesses to reinvigorate the economy by facilitating the reengineering of multiple segments of the economy to sustain their operations.
The SLIM SME Development Awards was introduced at a press brief that took place at Earl’s Court, Cinnamon Grand on the 25th of March 2021. The panellists consisted of Roshan Fernando, President of SLIM, Thilanka Abeywardena, Vice President of SLIM, Asanka Perera, the Project Chairman and Nandana Wickramage, the Head of Blue Print and Head of Jury.
Commenting on the awards, Roshan Fernando, President of SLIM said, “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic caused much disruption of daily routines and businesses of all magnitudes. A majority of Sri Lankan businesses took a hit during this time as everything came to a standstill. Understanding this, SLIM initiated an award show dedicated to the endeavours of small business enterprisesfor the first time in Sri Lanka. We are proud to introduce the SLIM SME Development Awards and we hope it encourages SMEs to rise to, and overcome the challenges that they face on a daily basis. They play an undeniably important role in the development of our country and therefore, facilitating their continuous development is our priority.” SLIM has made continuous efforts in this regard to encourage marketing, sales and branding that will pave the way to sustain more SMEs, and progress forward to becoming main stream businesses with standards, through their SME Development Awards. In spite of the challenges, businesses need to thrive in the long-run, overcoming obstacles and propelling themselves and the economy towards a better future.