Uber awarded 10 merchant partners, driver partners and couriers with prizes ranging from luxury hotel stays, smartphones and a motorbike, to recognize their innovative business ideas at the Uber Entrepreneurship Challenge 2021. The awards ceremony was held at the Park Street Mews Colombo with the esteemed presence of Chief Guest, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Youth & Sports, who handed out awards to the deserving winners.
The Challenge, an industry-first event, was conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and provided merchants, drivers and delivery partners alike, with a platform to showcase their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. Emerging as winner of the Merchant category for her unique recipe of submarines and hotdogs made with local, plant-based ingredients, Shani Dias was awarded a 2-night full board stay at Heritance Kandalama and a Samsung Galaxy S7 Tab. Additionally, Nimesh Sandaruwan was named winner of the Driver/Courier category for his concept of expanding services through the Uber platform. He was awarded a brand new Mahindra Centuro motorbike.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa said, “There is no shortage of talent and innovative ideas in Sri Lanka. Thus, we are constantly looking for ways to provide opportunities for people, especially the youth, to chase after their dreams and strengthen the nation. Creating a culture that is conducive to start-ups is an important part of this mission. The Uber Entrepreneur Challenge is an initiative that is in line with this objective and, thus, we are very happy to have been able to collaborate with a company that is creating new opportunities every day.”
Discussing the initiative, Bhavna Dadlani, General Manager of Uber Sri Lanka said, “It’s a great pleasure to recognize innovative entrepreneurs on the Uber and Uber Eats platforms. In a changing world, agile businesses can transform lives and communities. Our partners are at the heart of our operations and we are always looking for ways to help them further improve their lives and businesses. On behalf of Uber Sri Lanka, I take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners and wish them nothing but success in their endeavours. I also wish to sincerely thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports for providing us with this opportunity to collaborate towards improving the local entrepreneurial culture. We look forward to more such collaborations in the future.”
The Entrepreneurship Challenge was an effort by Uber to engage, inspire and motivate its partners to achieve their goals and dreams. With partners central to Uber’s business in Sri Lanka, the Uber Entrepreneurship Challenge is a testament to the Company’s efforts to create economic and social value for all stakeholders, in line with its long-term strategy to drive economic development and financial inclusivity in Sri Lanka.