The national awards ceremony of the 16th annual Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year contest will be held on November 23 at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo. This event will be preceded by award ceremonies in Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Badulla and Matara for provincial contestants, with the entire programme costing between Rs. 7.5 million and Rs. 10 million, according to Kumar Mallimaratchi, acting President of the event's organiser, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL).
Mr. Mallimaratchi made these comments at the launch of the 2011 competition, an awards programme which he described as being the only one of its kind that also recognised entrepreneurs across the country's provinces.
He also noted that costs for this competition had gone up and what had cost Rs. 2 million to organise earlier now costs Rs. 7.5 million. He also added that it was no longer easy to hold award shows such as these because of there was so much competition for sponsorships.
With applications being accepted between July 15 and August 30, the competition will be awarding, at the provincial level, nine golds, 36 silvers, and 72 bronzes for at total of 117 awards, while the national awards will give out one platinum, four golds, eight silvers, and 12 bronze, a total of 25 awards. Contestants will comprise four categories, small (up to Rs. 2 million), medium (Rs. 2 million to Rs. 20 million), large (Rs. 20 million to Rs. 50 million) and extra large (over Rs. 50 million). Judging will comprise four rounds, preliminary screenings, a panel review, site visits and interviews, starting from the day after applications close and will go on to October 20.
Previous platinum award winners include DSI's Kulatunga Rajapaksha, ODEL's Otara Gunawardena, Raigam's Ravi Liyanage, Laugf's W.K.H Wegapitiya, etc., while this year's sponsors include HNB Assurance, No Limit and Wijeya Newspapers, for its ninth consecutive time, etc.