Funded by the United States, Sri Lanka@100 (SL@100) selected its first round of seven high-potential companies to receive cutting-edge business advisory services to accelerate their growth. SL@100, a private sector-led platform focused on the growth of mid-sized firm, will equip the seven companies with skills to optimize operations, increase profitability, and expand markets.
“These seven firms are the first of many that the United States will support on their journey to rapid growth,” said U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Reed Aeschliman. “By helping Sri Lanka’s mid-market firms access the business services they need to thrive, SL@100 is fueling a transformation in Sri Lanka’s economy.”
Stax Managing Director and SL@100 co-founder Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera added that “Sri Lanka’s growth is very much dependent on SMEs and their ability to accelerate their growth trajectory. I am very excited and encouraged by the quality of the firms that applied and their hunger to grow beyond our shores.”
Launched in September 2020, SL@100 promotes equitable and inclusive economic growth in support of Sri Lanka’s journey to become a high-income country within 100 years of independence. This initiative brings together advisors, investors, trade groups, and business development service providers to strengthen the capacity of mid-market firms in areas such as marketing, operations, financial management, exports, and access to capital.
SL@100 will run two selection cycles per year to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) scale up operations. Co-founder of SL@100 & Stax Managing Director Ruwindhu Peiris commented on the impressive pitches these companies made, noting that he is “excited to be partnering with these companies that reflect the soul of Sri Lanka’s ingenuity and the hunger to rise to our full potential.”
The seven companies selected represent a wide range of goods and services from throughout Sri Lanka, including (in no particular order):
- DD Atukorala, a nearly 100-year-old business in Kegalle that grew and diversified from a bakery into restaurants and fashion stores;
- Industrial Stainless-Steel Fabrications, which supplies sophisticated process machinery to global markets including India, Nigeria, and Turkey;
- InsureMe, a one-stop destination to purchase any kind of insurance, which was selected for the 2020 Stanford Seed Transformation Program;
- Lanka Spice, the manufacturer and retailer of the McCurrie brand of spices and value-added jar products that is currently exported to Australia, Europe, Middle East, and North America;
- Randeepa Agrarian, an agricultural equipment provider based in Polonnaruwa, which has been certified as a Great Place to Work;
- Saaraketha Holdings, the first ecommerce platform for ‘farm-to-table’ fresh produce delivery in Sri Lanka that now links over 2,500 local farmers to non-conventional markets globally; and
- UHE Exports, the manufacturer of Halpé Tea packaged in organic teabags from the tea leaf itself, which exports fair-trade tea and herbal products.
SL@100 is accepting applications for Round 2 at www.srilanka100.lk through Friday, February 19, 2021.