Lessons from natural disasters, tsunami-affected Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises(SMEs) in Sri Lanka

S.W.S.B. Dasanayaka, Gayan Wedawatta, G.D. Sardana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main objective of this paper is to identify some of the key issues encountered by tsunami-affected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the process of rehabilitation and re-establishment in Sri Lanka. The second objective is to assess how far these affected industries have received various benefits and supports from bodies such as government agencies, private sector
firms, donors and NGOs to help them get back into business. The final objective is to recommend policies and strategies to develop the tsunami-affected SMEs in a self-sustaining manner and within a certain time period. The main database of firms for this research has been obtained from the Industrial Development Board, which conducted a survey covering 4,389 tsunami-affected micro- and SMEs. In addition to this, information from various state organizations and NGOs-based sources has been used. This paper identifies the main issues related to tsunami-affected SMEs ranging from basic infrastructure provision up to finance, marketing, machinery, technology, training, product identification and development and so forth. In fact, it is shown that there are no significant differences between issues faced by SMEs in general and tsunami-affected SMEs, apart of course from the effects of a sudden disaster (the tidal wave). Consequently, these issues can be generalized as issues relevant to SMEs in Sri Lanka as a whole. However, under the flood and rain of local and foreign assistance, there have been more pledges and promises than actual deliveries and, so, tsunami-affected SMEs have received comparatively little support and assistance in recovering and no records can be found as to where the colossal amount of foreign assistance received has actually gone. Finally, this paper recommends various types of business incubator centres and entrepreneurial enhancing skill programmes for the revamping of tsunami-affected SMEs in addition to the normal disaster risk management plan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Shinawatra University
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2014


  • entrepreneurship
  • rehabilitation
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • SME
  • disaster
  • tsunami
  • Asia
  • South Asian


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