Entrepreneurship and job creation getting a boost


By Steve A. Morrell

‘True, banks too loan capital, but there’s a difference. They also look for collateral. If you could show tangible fallback funds or parallel assets, then they lend. But in our case, it's just the innovation and a sound entrepreneurial plan and that’s where we come in, said co – founder, Blue Ocean Ventures, Pradeep Balasubramaniam, responding to questions from the press at the forum convened last week by Venturengine.

Venturengine, an entrepreneur innovator, partnering Indian Angel Network ( IAN), promotes persons with ideas for self- advancement and definitive planning. Dialog Axiata is a contributing partner with Blue Ocean Ventures. Group Chief Officer, Dialog Enterprise, Jeremy Huxtable, confirmed his company is a contributing partner to Blue Ocean Ventures, but stopped short of indicating monetary sums involved in their partnership.

Additionally, president IAN, Padmaja Ruparel, confirmed their partnership with their local partners.

She said as much as there were some 475 investors from India currently operative, entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka had already demonstrated their expertise and their skills to move forward in a competitive climate. This is laudable particularly because their monetary base is limited, she said. 'Fifty five Lankan entrepreneurs who are being currently helped are job creators rather than job seekers. That was the energy of the entrepreneurial activity that is created and the wide based economic possibilities from the partnership are nearly limitless, she explained.

Questioned further by the press , Balasubramaniam said, support for such start – up funds was substantial in content and concept. ‘ We are not involved in micro finance, but all other funding assistance programmes are possibilities we look at’,he said.

Further questions from the press included the timeframes for pay back. Answers to these questions were not very clear, yet entrepreneurs present were quite enthusiastic that their organizational skills were effectively assessed and if there are difficulties in completing their projects, instructional assistance was readily available. Stemming from such support, they said they had not been exposed to uncertainty.

Also present at the press conference were, Top Ten Venture Engine 2013 Charitha Abeyratne, Head of marketing, Corporate Communications & CSR, Expolanka Holdings, Paddy Weerasekera, CEO Orion City, Jeevan Gnanam, and Co – Founder Blue Ocean Ventures, Rajan Anandan.

The marked feature of Venturengine was that the entrepreneur was granted the opportunity to pitch directly to investors.

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