HSBC, British Council launches YEA Award 2011

HSBC Bank with the British Council Colombo announced the launch of “HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards (YEA) 2011” for young people in Sri Lanka. The award aims to recognize young entrepreneurs and supports them to start and grow in businesses.

The YEA contest is open to Sri Lankan postgraduates, undergraduates and students aged 18 to 30 years representing universities, private higher education institutions, technical and vocational institutions and professional training bodies.

According to the HSBC, young entraprenuers can apply under the categories of  Fashion Design, Architecture, Crafts; Tourism, hospitality, leisure and travel; IT and telecommunications; Medical, Pharmaceutical and biotechnology, Engineering; Agriculture; Renewable energy and sustainable industries and an open category.

The business plan submitted by the contestants under each of these categories will be judged by an eminent panel of judges comprising entrepreneurs and industry experts based on a list of pre-determined criteria. Each category winner will be awarded with seed capital of Rs. 100,000 to help them establish their own enterprise. In addition, the winners will be mentored by professionals for a period of six months for guidance and effective utilization of resources.

Mr. Nick Nicolaou, CEO of HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives while speaking at the launch said, “As the world’s local bank, we are pleased to partner with the British Council to introduce HSBC Youth Enterprise Award.” He added that this was the second project, having supported the ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons’ (TOYP) for 6 years, to identify and recognize young aspiring entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka. “Therefore, I would encourage young people to make the most of this opportunity by participating and unlocking their potential to reach the pinnacle of success” he emphasized.

Mr. Tony Reilly, OBE, Country Director British Council Sri Lanka mentioned that Sri Lanka’s peace dividend has opened new doors to many people. “Young, bright and innovative individuals can now start up their own enterprise. Instead of becoming job seekers, they now have the opportunity to become job creators,” he stressed.

“The HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards are designed to tap into and nurture the rich talent in this country, enabling Sri Lanka’s next generation entrepreneurs to take full advantage of today’s abundant opportunities,” he further added.

The British Council has been working with the Ministry of Higher Education, University Grants Commission, Vice Chancellors and lecturers to develop policies and programmes to develop entrepreneurship education within universities.

Application form can be downloaded at http://www.britishcouncil.org/srilanka-projects-yea-application-form.doc

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