SLYCAN Trust with the Ministry of Trade, SLAB & Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Launch Ethical Pitch Accelerator

January 19, 2022

The Ethical Pitch Accelerator (EthicalX), an initiative of SLYCAN Trust implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Trade, the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and other strategic partners, was officially launched on January 12th, 2022, at Cinnamon Grand Colombo under the auspices of the Hon. Minister of Trade, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena. The initiative aims to support ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship through capacity-building and provision of technical support to new and existing start ups as well as setting up capacity-building hubs at local level to engage communities in supporting entrepreneurship.

 Introductory session at the Ethical Pitch Accelerator official launch event.

Delivering the keynote address, Honorable Minister of Trade, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said: “The Ministry of Trade has initiated activities on developing entrepreneurship as well as converting Sri Lanka’s trade and business practices to sustainable and more climate- and environment-friendly options. We are regularly looking at how improvements can be made to existing programmes and support provided to small and medium businesses.”

“The Ethical Pitch Accelerator is a timely initiative that focuses on contributing to ethical, sustainable and climate-friendly actions at national and local level. We look forward to engaging with the activities of Ethical Pitch Accelerator and working together to enhance ethical, sustainable and climate-friendly trade and entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka and beyond,” he added.

Honorable Minister of Trade, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena delivering the keynote speech. 

Ms. Vositha Wijenayake, Executive Director of SLYCAN Trust spoke on the initiative and highlighted the key areas of EthicalX. “The Ethical Pitch Accelerator is an effort to ensure entrepreneurial skills reach all those interested in Sri Lanka and aim to  capacity-build and provide entrepreneurship support for new and existing start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises in food systems, fashion, tourism, and waste management. The initiative has a special focus on youth, women and rural communities. The accelerator will provide support in three phases, general support as well as specific technical expertise provision and ecosystem support through capacity-building hubs in several areas across the island,” she explained.

Attorney-at-law, Ms. Vositha Wijenayake presenting the Ethical Pitch Accelerator at the launch event.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Sampath Wahala, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB), highlighted the importance of accreditation, standards, and certification schemes to facilitate ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship. “We aim to instill expertise among the entrepreneurs on conducting their start-ups and businesses aligned with accreditation and standardising processes, which will allow them to expand from local to international markets as well,” he said.

Dr. Sampath Wahala, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board delivering his speech

Dr. Prasad Jayasuriya, Acting Deputy Director General and Director: Tourism Planning, Development & Investments of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), also spoke at the event and  presented an overview of tourism development activities in Sri Lanka. He highlighted the importance of expanding sustainable and climate-friendly tourism practices across Sri Lanka. “It is important to utilise Sri Lanka’s valuable resources to its full potential. It is important for the tourism sector to build on the wealth of natural and cultural resources of the country and benefit from available opportunities to strengthen Sri Lanka’s branding as a sustainable, climate-friendly, and socially responsible tourism location.”

Dr. Prasad Jayasuriya, Acting Deputy Director General and Director: Tourism Planning, Development & Investments of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) presenting on Sri Lanka’s tourism sector

The event was attended by key stakeholders and dignitaries, including the Ambassador of France, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, relevant government authorities such as the Sustainable Development Council, the Urban Development Authority, representatives from diplomatic missions, UN entities, development agencies, banks, private sector companies, youth and media.

For more information on the Ethical Pitch Accelerator and how to engage, please visit or contact [email protected].

Honorable minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena; Her Excellency Ambassador Tanja Gonggrijp of the Kingdom of Netherlands; His Excellency Ambassador Eric Lavertu of France 

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.