Healthy Socio-Economic Recovery of the Micro and Small Enterprise Sector of Sri Lanka (COVID-19)

Support for Micro and Small enterprises for healthy socio-economic recovery when they start the business under the COVID 19 pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has hit hard particularly micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Sri Lanka. Health and safety of those working in these often-congested enterprises is paramount in light of COVID-19, as is the need to keep them and the workers they employ financially afloat. With a return to work scenario imminent, the project will provide support to MSEs to operate in a COVID-19 safe environment while assisting them to access working capital through Government and/or private sector channels to restart their businesses. The strategy includes MSE support through specific Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) preventative measurese, business continuity planning, entrepreneurship support, manager-worker dialogue and on-line delivery channels and training thereby enhancing sustainability and ensuring decent work. This dual strategy of OSH precautionary measures and access to working capital will help mitigate the adverse health and socio-economic impact on vulnerable enterprises and hundreds of thousands of workers they employ, allowing Sri Lanka to faster and steady recovery.

The project designed based on the Government of Sri Lanka development priorities and following consultations with the Employer’s Federation of Sri Lanka and other social partners. The strategy secures value for money by building on existing or recent collaboration with national or local institutions.

The project implemented by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and World Health Organization (WHO). The project specifically target MSEs with a special focus on female owned enterprises in Gampaha and Kaluthara districts.



Overall objective of this project is to support to the Micro and Small enterprises for healthy socio-economic recovery when they start the business under the COVID 19 pandemic. This has planned to initiate through the following strategic objectives;
1. Promote Operational Safety and Health (OSH) measures at enterprise level as well as other spheres affiliated with OSH implementation
2. Develop a conducive ecosystem for the MSEs sector to resume and continue operation

Scope of the project

- Sector : MSE sector
- Geographical coverage : Gampaha and Kaluthara District
- Time frame – 6 months ( 1st July to 31st December 2020)
- Investment US $1,000,000


ILO is leading this project with the partnership of UNOPS

Other UN agencies

• United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office

Government counterpart

Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations
Ministry of Health
Health Promotion Bureau
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
National Enterprise Development Authority
District Secretariat- Gampaha
District Secretariat- Kaluthara

Social Partners

Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC)
Women’s’ Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises