Yarl IT Hub - innovation and entrepreneurship in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
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Yarl IT Hub (YIT) is a not-for-profit social enterprise which strives to inspire, support and foster technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. It’s an organization that was established by the community for the community. The Yarl IT Hub community consists of all those who share the dream of making Jaffna into their own kind of Silicon Valley and abide by the core values of the organization. Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.

YIT has several initiatives including the Thulir Social Innovation Centre, a coding school that is described on our website, and the Yarl Geek Challenge (YGC). The people who work at Thulir gather business models and technology which can be used in the community to create jobs. 

The Yarl Geek Challenge enters its ninth season in 2020 and builds on its model of mentoring and tutorials in technology. There are Junior and Senior categories in which young people from Jaffna and the surrounding communities compete. The competition sees teams create apps.

Yarl Geek Challenge Junior is a school level IT competition organized by Yarl IT Hub to encourage school children to use their creativity and develop practical IT solutions. The students, either individually or by forming a team of a maximum of three members, select one of the following:

1. Web application development
2. Mobile application development
3. Hardware application development
4. Innovative product development

In 2018, through the Yarl Geek Challenge Junior, Yarl IT Hub saw over 550 students trained in 100 plus teams and YGC Senior had 70 applications with 11 eventually becoming finalists.

The experiences gained from competing are valuable for reasons beyond developing skills in technology. The participants also learn to network, develop perseverance and create companies.

Additionally the Yarl IT Hub has set goals of 10,000 students learning through digital education, 1000 students gaining jobs in technology fields, and they also plan for 100 start-ups in Sri Lanka. There have been more than 150 jobs created through the 18 start ups run by alumni of Yarl Geek Challenge. And the coding school has the remarkable record of placing 95 percent of its graduates in jobs. On average, the graduates achieve an 800 percent increase in pay over the job they had prior to enrolling in the school. 

The Center on Business and Poverty is proud to be a partner to Yarl and looks forward to many years of cooperation between our organizations.
Who we are and what we do...
The Center on Business and Poverty is a partnership of businesses, individuals, and non-profits that focus on sustaining and enhancing underserved communities through initiatives, research, writing, networking, and entrepreneurship.
Copyright © 2020 Center on Business and Poverty, All rights reserved.

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