HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards (YEA) is a Business Idea Contest jointly organised by British Council and HSBC. It aims to recognise and support young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to start up their own businesses.
This contest is open to Sri Lankan undergraduates, postgraduates and graduates aged 18 to 35 years, representing universities, technical and vocational education institutions, private higher education institutions, vocational training institutions and professional bodies in Sri Lanka.
The applicants can send interests under the following categories of industry sectors:
A judging panel will select the most innovative and feasible business plans through a screening process, which will include interviews with the teams during which they will be evaluated on their business ideas.
This year, the programme will take on a national approach, with workshops being held in Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna as well. The workshops will provide an overall awareness on agriculture, education and health for the participants to improve not only their business ideas but also knowledge on the respective subject areas.
The winners of the ‘HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards’ will receive cash prizes as seed capital to support the establishment of their businesses. This year, the winning team will receive Rs. 500,000, the first-runner up will receive Rs. 200,000, second runner-up will receive Rs. 100,000 and two commendation prizes of Rs. 50,000 each.
Each winning team will have to take part in a mentoring program organised by the British Council and HSBC. This programme is aimed at nurturing and guiding the students from an idea stage through to the implementation stage of their start-up businesses. The cash prizes will be awarded to the teams in phases, upon successful completion of the tasks outlined by the mentors during the mentoring program.
The British Council has pioneered a number of initiatives to promote graduate entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. By working closely with the Ministry of Higher Education, University Grants Commission, vice-chancellors and lecturers in Sri Lanka and the UK’s entrepreneurial universities, the British Council is helping to develop policies and programmes to develop entrepreneurship education within universities.