Sri Lanka’s first Shoppertainment Experience – ‘Independence Market’ was launched at the Independence Arcade on December 12, 2020 in the presence of Chief Guest (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana, Minister of Trade for Sri Lanka and Guest of Honour Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Youth and Sports for Sri Lanka.
The launch event which provides attendees with live music and entertainment welcomed over 50 local entrepreneurs from the food & beverage, arts & crafts, handloom and batik industries.
With the primary objective of the Independence Market to support and empower local entrepreneurs given the prevailing economic conditions, the project also welcomed new partners – Bathiya & Santhush of ‘Showtown’ – to further promote their upcoming weekly events as they aid in creating a sustainable network of local entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the successful launch of the Independence Market – Founder, Company – Udara Rathnayake said “The concept behind the Independence Market is to support local vendors to grow, providing them with an opportunity or rather a market-place where they have access to potential customers.”
The Independence Market’s goal is to provide a marketplace for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who produce export quality products, considering the current global economy and export markets. The Independence Market also hopes to expand internationally to assist more entrepreneurs with the opportunity to reach a larger audience.
Concluding, Ratnayake noted “We are currently in discussions with regard to expanding our operations to other parts of the island, in order to provide more entrepreneurs with the exposure and opportunities Independence Market offers.”
Thusara Karunanayaka General manager – Showtown Entertainment pvt ltd, stating at the event “Independence Market is a timely initiative which offers great opportunities to small and medium entrepreneurs to be exposed to new and larger markets. It holds prospects for these enterprises and trades to reach out to the export market as well.The focus of Independence Market is mainly on local trades. It will also offer Shoppertainment to the participants bringing a new shopping experience to the consumers. Showtown Entertainment considers this as a great opportunity to be able to be an active stakeholder for this worthy affair”.
All event attendees were required to adhere to strict rules and regulations of safety and hygiene, as mandated by the Sri Lanka Government to curb the spread of COVID-19. Entrepreneurs in attendance to showcase their products were provided with face masks, gloves, etc.