COLOMBO, 13 December 2019: The fourth chapter of the International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship (ICSE 2019) – ‘International Conference on Women Entrepreneurship’ – was held recently in Colombo.
The two-day conference was held to felicitate women entrepreneurs in several categories including, micro-small/medium/large scale enterprises, innovative enterprises and social enterprises.
At this event, Ms. Sunethra Marasinghe, founder of the ‘Human and Environment Development Foundation’ won first place for the ‘Most Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs’ Award under the ‘Social Enterprise’ category.
Further, Ms. Renuka Gunawardana, founder of the ‘Ekabadda Praja Sanwardhana Kantha Maha Sangamaya’ (United Women’s Society for Community Development) was the 1st runner up under the same category.
Ms. Marasinghe and Ms. Gunawardana were recognized for their efforts in shaping women leaders in their communities by supporting small businesses headed by women, and economically lifting them out of poverty through conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Ms. Marasinghe and Ms.Gunawardana were grant recipients of the Small Grants Programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Green Environment Facility. Through the programme, both women received extensive training and support to start their own enterprise.
The Small Grants Programme (SGP) embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally; acting locally". By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.
The International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship is a series of conferences initiated and continued by the Colombo School of Business and Management (CSBM). This year’s conference was organized together with the Women’s International Foundation (WIF) with the aim of recognizing women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.