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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Lanka in global women biz breakthrough

Colombo, 03 July, (Asiantribune.com):

Sri Lanka’s women biz are on the verge of a breakthrough on 02 July as Commonwealth said it has picked the country to be its pioneering training point for its int’l women entrepreneurship push.

“What we are looking at is Sri Lanka to be the hub for face to face delivery of training-whether it’s a hub for South Asia or Asia. But this is the first time for C’Wealth Business training that a facility of this nature being established. There is a high level of interest about Sri Lanka being involved. The 98% literacy rate is the very important baseline for Commonwealth to pick Sri Lanka” said a highly articulate Arif Zaman (Senior Advisor, Corporate Governance and South Asia to the Commonwealth Business Council and CW Business Women) on 02 July in Colombo.

Visiting Senior Advisor Zaman was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 02 July in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was accompanied on 02 july by Himali Jinadasa (Senior Advisor to Minister Bathiudeen), Neela Marikkar (well-known woman entrepreneur and Chairperson, Grant McCann Erickson in Sri Lanka), Imran Vilcassim (Microsoft Country Manager-Sri Lanka and Maldives) and his team, and N.M. Saheed (Chairman-National Enterprise Development Authority under Minister Bathiudeen).

• C’Wealth’s picks Lanka for pioneering women biz training push
'98% national literacy rate the game changer for Lanka' – CW’s Zaman
• In talks with Microsoft to be biz platform partner
• “Born Global” arrives in Sri Lanka
• "Great!" - Rishad

The Commonwealth’s reach is such that it includes almost one third of the world population in 53 member states across all continents.

“The Commonwealth Women in Business Academy will have several business modules. They will mainly be delivered online. We recognise that we want to work with stakeholders in Sri Lanka to help establish entrepreneurship module which will not exclusively focus on Sri Lanka but be driven from here. We have a leading service provider called the School for Startups and looking at an online solution mainly but have some face to face delivery time for women entrepreneurs. Our initiative is two steps-a Biz Exchange Platform and International Entrepreneurship Training for CW Women-the Women in Business Academy. We want Lankan women with skills to grow, diversify and internationalise them. These things need business support and knowledge which we have. There will be several stakeholders in Sri Lanka to help establish these modules. What we are looking at is Sri Lanka to be the hub for face to face delivery of training-whether it’s a hub for South Asia or Asia we have to see. But this is the first time for C’Wealth Business training that a facility of this nature being established-in that the C’Wealth Business Academy” ” said Visiting Senior Advisor Zaman, and added: “And one of the first modules will be on entrepreneurship. There is a high level of interest about Sri Lanka being involved. The 98% literacy rate is a very important baseline for Commonwealth to pick Sri Lanka. The interest is to make Sri Lanka the hub for our face-to-face training delivery. This important baseline does not exist in many other countries who we seek as examples. You have a baseline of educated women, which places a bigger responsibility that they need be given fuller opportunities and the benefits of such education are reaped. What we want to do is to build on our pioneering work since 2010. We are looking specifically at international entrepreneurship in women owned businesses-specifically introducing “Born Global” concept. Why shouldn’t be a woman in Jaffna with a good idea and access to tech provide her services to a company in the Caribbean? Why shouldn’t such a global transaction be possible for Lankan women? She is Born Global with a skills set, tech, connectivity through C’Wealth being a Sri Lankan or C’Wealth citizen. We have discussions on-going on engaging Microsoft as part of academy and provision of business training platform. Clearly there will be input for this initiative by Microsoft in Sri Lanka.”

Responding to Senior Advisor Zaman, Minister Bathiudeen said: “Very interesting initiative. I am confident that support from the NEDA under me and Microsoft will make this initiative practical. NEDA has been working on its own initiatives to empower women entrepreneurs. We thank the Commonwealth Business Council and CW Business Women for this initiative. I and my Ministry will extend our fullest support in this regard. I have no doubts that HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa too will extend his support for such a new initiative.”

Imran Vilcassim (Microsoft Country Manager-Sri Lanka and Maldives): “We at Microsoft have enough capacity and resources to elevate Lanka’s women biz. With CW’s expertise and our tech assistance, we can move forward.”

According to Vilcassim, todate, Microsoft has spent extensively in its many CSR initiatives in Sri Lanka. Microsoft has already supported over one million Sri Lankan lives through support for a range of education and training programs.

- Asian Tribune -

Arif Zaman (Senior Advisor, Corporate Governance and South Asia to the Commonwealth Business Council and CW Business Women-right) breaks the good news to Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of industry and Commerce) on 02 July in Colombo.
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