Advocata launches Red Tape Project for small businesses

Advocata Institute hosted their latest event, “පොඩි බිස්නස් පොඩි කරන කරන රතු පටි රෙගුලාසි” on Thursday (5). This event served as the official launch of the Red Tape Project, the culmination of their ongoing work on removing legal and regulatory barriers faced by small and micro entrepreneurs.

Advocata Institute Research Analyst Aneetha Warusavitarana cutting the red tape

The objective of the Red Tape Project is to identify, study, and advocate for the removal of legal and regulatory barriers faced by businesses in Sri Lanka. As a first step towards the process, Advocata launched a report on “Barriers to Micro and Small Enterprises in Sri Lanka”, as well as, a website for entrepreneurs to submit their frustrations or views on red tape and government processes and regulations that need to be removed or simplified.
The work on this project was then followed up by the #MystoryLK online competition, where Advocata asked micro and small entrepreneurs islandwide to send in essays, in Sinhala, Tamil, and English, detailing the barriers they had faced in setting up their businesses and how they believed the system could change to reduce the issues they faced.

Advocata awarded the winners of the competition at the event. The competition was won by Madasamy Suventhiran. Second place was awarded to Vikum Rajapakse and third place to Elijah Hoole.

Advocata Institute COO Dhananath Fernando.

The report “Barriers to Micro and Small Enterprises in Sri Lanka” provides an understanding of the landscape of micro and small enterprises in the country, drawing from an islandwide survey. The survey highlights the various regulatory barriers that these enterprises face, ranging from issues of finance, registration, space, and labour. The report focuses on addressing one of these barriers and proposes recommendations to streamline and rationalise the process of registration for sole proprietors and partnerships.

The event also hosted a panel discussion with Advocata Institute Academic Programme Chair Dr. S. Rajapatirana, Colombo Municipal Council Councillor Milinda Rajapaksha, and Good Market Co-Founder and Managing Director Achala Samaradiwakara. The panel was moderated by Advocata Institute COO Dhananath Fernando.
Advocata is an independent policy think tank based in Colombo, Sri Lanka that conducts research, provide commentary, and hold events to promote sound policy ideas compatible with a free society in Sri Lanka.

Photos Eshan Dasanayaka