Public Sector Partnership for Economic Development in Uva Province

The Uva Wellassa University has created a business development service to transfer technology to small and medium enterprises in the region and improve the quality of their products.

Aptly referred to as University Business Linkage (UBL), a forum was convened on the 25th of August 2020 in Badulla to explore possibilities. The event was financially supported by Chrysalis through the IRD-ENTERPRISE project which is funded by the European Union in Sri Lanka. The event saw the participation of government secretaries from ministries such as health, education, agriculture, road development and sports. The participation of the Governor of the Uva Province at this forum was notable.

UBL primarily offers vertical business development services that are specific to product and commodity-based markets. Horizontal business development services, on the other hand, refers to generic services that apply across sectors.

The UBL forum has recognized that we stand on the brink of a technological revolution and called for an integrated and comprehensive response involving all stakeholders from the public and private sectors to academia and other professional groups. The forum took an integrated view of rural entrepreneurship and set the agenda for future work. This is important because the Uva Province is a rurality. Moreover, rurality exists as a territorially specific entrepreneurial milieu with distinct physical, social and economic characteristics. The need, thus, arises to explore rurality as a socio-spatial concept and illustrate the importance of distinguishing between ideal types, such as entrepreneurship in the rural and rural entrepreneurship. While such concepts have been deliberated by scholars in academic and foreign realms, an opportunity arises for the UBL forum in the future to operationalize such entrepreneurial concepts at the local level.