In an effort to facilitate opportunities for Sri Lankan female entrepreneurship, globally diverse conglomerate Expolanka has partnered with Sarvodaya to launch the “Sabrina Yusoof” Women’s Empowerment Initiative.
The main objective of the project is to finance low-income women entrepreneurs to start and develop their own businesses, enabling more Sri Lankan women to gain financial independence, by generating their own stable and sustainable income.
The initiative will aim to provide selected MSMEs in the Colombo district with access to a grant to strengthen their businesses and help them adjust to the emerging ‘new normal’. A total of Rs. 24 million has been allocated to the project.
The official launch of the project took place in a special ceremony attended by senior representatives of the two organizations, including the CEO of the Expolanka group, Hanif Yusoof, accompanied by several members of the board of directors as well as the president of the movement. Sarvodaya Shramadana, Dr Vinya Ariyaratne.
“The development of our nation can only truly begin when the women of our nation are fully empowered. With Sabrina Yusoof Women’s Empowerment Initiative, we aim to carefully target financial aid, advice and technical support to women-led MSMEs who have the potential to grow and create a positive ripple effect in society. In turn, these businesses can create more opportunities for Sri Lankan women to develop themselves and achieve their own financial independence. We believe this is the way forward to enrich our nation, and we are delighted to be working with such an impactful partner as Sarvodaya, to help Project Empower reach its full potential, ”said Hanif Yusoof, Group CEO. Expolanka.
The engagement will also see the appointment of a joint committee, made up of members of Exploanka and Sarvodaya, to monitor the progress of these companies and allocate additional funds as they progress.
The first batch of business partners were selected based on their business / business idea, the challenges they faced and the financial requirements involved. The partners operated in a range of industries ranging from food, crafts, clothing, clothing, footwear, stationery to beauty care and ornamental fish.
Commenting on the program, Sarvodaya President Dr Vinya Ariyaratne said, “Our engagement with Expolanka aims to provide holistic support that will create an environment conducive to the revival and prosperity of women-led businesses. This will be accomplished through the provision of financial resources, as well as technical support that will help these businesses adapt and build their resilience in a post-COVID environment. Our extensive infrastructure and skills will be well enhanced by the support of Expoplanka and its passion for the success of this project.
The project launch will be the first in a series of commitments that will be commissioned by the “Sabrina Yusoof Women’s Empowerment Initiative” to catalyze opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Project Empower was initiated by the late Sabrina Yusoof, Sustainability Manager at Expolanka, who worked with unremitting commitment, love and passion to create a more prosperous and inclusive Sri Lanka. These initiatives are dedicated to his memory, in honor and celebration of his life and in accordance with his vision.
Expolanka, as an organization, has always been at the forefront of supporting important socially sustainable and sustainable entrepreneurship programs that are at the heart of its environmental, social and governance initiatives.