"At the same time, Higher Education institutions are strengthening links with the world of work, business and industry to ensure that tomorrow’s graduates are equipped with skills for the 21st century.
"One of those skills is entrepreneurship. Economies need graduates with a creative spark and a desire to innovate."
Their business plans can be in any industry sector in Sri Lanka.
In order to support the winners set up their enterprises in a lucrative manner, the prizes have been enhanced this year.
The winning individual or team in the ' HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards' will get 500,000 rupees, the first runner-up 200, 000 rupees and the second runner-up 100, 000 as cash prizes to to implement their respective business plans.
The winners will get a chance to be mentored by professionals for six months who will support and guide them in their business ventures.
"HSBC has long supported the growth of youth in the country through various education projects and this becomes yet another opportunity to empower young people and give them a head start in their career," the bank's chief executive for Sri Lanka and Maldives said.
The deadline for applications June 15, 2012.The British Council has worked closely with Sri Lanka's ministry of higher education, the University Grants Commission, vice chancellors and lectures as well as UK's entrepreneurial universities to promote graduate entrepreneurship, the statement said.
The British Council has also organized 'IDEATORS - Next Generation Entrepreneurs', a popular reality-TV enterprise competition, and Graduate Enterprise Challenge in partnership with the ICT industry.