Social enterprise immersion event which was part of the annual leadership programme organized by Common Purpose South Asia and Africa Venture was held in collaboration with LSV on the 23rd of August 2017 at Ape Gama premises. The aim of the event was to facilitate knowledge sharing across borders.
Lanka Social Ventures (LSV) facilitated experience sharing by linking social entrepreneurs who are making innovative strides in their respective sector. Selyna Peries the Director of Selyn Garments, Isanka representing Earth Bound Creations, Jayantha Kumarasiri owner of Katana upcycle products joined to share experiences with their counterparts from South Asia and Africa. Representatives from many leading development organisations, academic and financial institutions across South Asia and Africa such as Accenture South Africa, BRAC, Aga Khan University, British Asian Trust India, YMCA Gambia, M Net South Africa, Out Net Marketing Zambia and Cargill in Zambia participated in the event.
We have a workforce of 800 women and we use homework model, and the women workers are given the flexibility to come and work whenever they can come stated Selyna Peiris Director of Selyn Garments. There is a need for psychological and reproductive health counseling for women. They need support to sought issues arising out of psychological and reproductive health issues. In order for women to have a certain percentage of their income as a saving we have introduced a voluntary savings scheme also as the tendency is that women use their earnings for the family needs and in most cases or earnings are taken over by the husband stated Selyna upon explaining to the question posed by a participant about dynamics about working with women. The participants were intrigued to understand the scope for social enterprises such as Lanka Social Ventures. Dr Lalith Welamedage the CEO of Lanka Social Ventures expressed the view that as an emerging concept Social Enterprises are gathering and momentum and that Lanka Social Ventures is positioned to meet the emerging needs of SMEs and social enterprises. Jayantha Kumarasiri an entreprenrur who is directly intervening to address the problem of waste polythene and plastic generated from urban areas expressed the view that motivation for his business largely the satisfaction gained from addressing a burden to the environment more than the profit earned.