“LEAP (Learn Engage Aim Prosper) Sri Lanka”, Export Readiness Program for regional technology SME’s
The outcomes of the National Exports Strategy (NES) highlighted the importance of holding digital business clinics for regional tech companies in order to scale them to grow locally and reach global markets to overall support the industry in achieving its national export revenue targets. An industry support initiative by ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), supported by the Ministry of industrial export and investment promotion, Exports Development Board (EDB) and other industry stakeholders; LEAP Sri Lanka program was conceptualized in 2019 to drive export growth through innovation and entrepreneurship, addressing regional level technology companies to assist them to grow locally while scaling them up to explore and reach global markets.
The cohort of SMEs receive a 360 degree support ranging from personal development/ grooming to business development, remodeling etc. to International market access. LEAP is a community consisting of 40 IT-SMEs from around the country (representing all provinces of Sri Lanka) and built within the past eight months (starting from the initiation of this program; 14 accelerator sessions through 06 primary workshops conducted) and are now actively engaged in developing their businesses and growing their networks in order to achieve success. LEAP Sri Lanka is a platform helping to bridge the link between national and regional trade strategies/initiatives that would ultimately feed-in towards a prosperous nation via a Digital Economy.
Process of LEAP includes;
- Critically evaluate functions of the business & build-up a business plan that will help them grow
- Capacity building workshops & focused trainings, identified through a needs assessment.
- Personalized business coaching
- Connecting with market access development initiatives to explore and expand into global markets.
LEAP was launched in August 2019 with the participation of 20 SME’s, with the intension of preparing the ground for the next series of initiatives considering the prime aspects of scaling up regional IT-SME companies, to reach export markets. The initial program concentrated on business remodelling and providing a glimpse of the non-technical aspects a business needs to explore and be sustainable in the export market. All programs were designed and conducted as non-traditional workshops, promoting the practical application of concepts and methods which resulted in participant’s active engagement, peer-to-peer learning, networking and building up a culture of cross selling among each other as direct/indirect outcomes of the LEAP program.
To manage and overcome the Covid19 crisis, LEAP Sri Lanka Program, the platform that facilitates regional development by bridging national & regional strategies and the development of the technology SME ecosystem; is continuously engaging with the community by offering its expert guidance, sharing knowledge and connecting the regional IT SME’s with relevant industry stakeholders and domain experts. During this unforeseen times, LEAP is also designing and managing a spontaneous WFH webinar series considering the dynamic demands and requirements of the community. In-line with the above, LEAP successfully facilitated another virtual session on “Branding and staying relevant to the Market during a pandemic” conducted by Mr. Amithe Gamage, Senior Consultant, business coach and Co-founder of Quantum Leap (Pvt) Ltd.
These structured as well as dynamic engagements will be continued and followed up to ensure it benefits the regional tech SME ecosystem that will ultimately support Sri Lanka LEAP forward!