Sri Lanka businesses; 90% sole ownership, 25% run by females: Census and Statistics Dept.


July 15, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has over 90 percent of sole ownership businesses in the island while 25 percent of the establishments are run by women entrepreneurs, a recent census showed.

The Census and Statistics Department released data of its first Economic Census 2013/14 on the Industry, Trade and Services sectors.

“The census has listed all the economic activities (both formal and informal, excluding a few micro scale activities) except for the activities, which were operated for the sole purpose of own consumption.” the Statistics Department said.

This listing operation has revealed that around 3 million people are engaged in industry trade and services sector of the country.

Legal Ownership

Legal status of the economic activities depicts some indication about the formality, informality, and shape of an overall economy.

The results of the economic census have revealed that over 90 percent of the economic activities in the country are of the category sole ownership.


Establishments can be registered at a single institute or at multiple institutions based on their objectives and requirements.

Though business registration is in existence at the Divisional Secretariats in the country, 45 percent of the micro enterprises and 10 percent of the small enterprises are not registered, the census showed.

Female Entrepreneurs

The number of Women entrepreneurs and Women Decision makers in an economy is an important indicator for gender related policies.

In Sri Lanka, 25 percent of the establishments are run by women entrepreneurs or decision makers, while its percentage in the rural areas (35 percent) is significantly higher than that of the urban areas (28percent).

The Listing of the Economic Census also reports that the country’s economy comprises of around 1.02 million establishments of which 71,126 small scale establishments and 10,405 are medium scale establishments.