LSV joins as partner to the Sustaining and Nurturing Rural Agro-Industrial Social Enterprises SUNRISE) programme

The Sustaining and Nurturing Rural Agro-Industrial Social Enterprises SUNRISE) programme aims to increase women’s social and economic empowerment through nurturing a viable group of women-led social enterprises in targeted value chains, and improving the family and community enabling environment by supporting fruit and vegetable farming and handloom enterprises. Lanka Social Ventures joined as an implementing partner for the first phase of the Sustaining and Nurturing Rural Agro Industrial Social Enterprises Project (SUNRISE) initiated and funded by Oxfam.

In this project LSV is working with a group of SMEs engaged in fruit and vegetable processing and handloom sectors from the districts of Vauniya, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa.   LSV in the SUNRISE project will contribute towards strengthening the capacity of selected entrepreneurs by providing business coaching and mentoring support to expand the businesses sustainably. Each of the enterprises was assessed for their performance, future potential and business needs by LSV in order to design capacity building interventions.   Among the many activities the two boot camps, credit camps and marketing clinics were the leading interventions that laid a firm foundation for the next phase.

A majority of key players in fruit and vegetable processing and handloom sectors representing government department, institutions, leading private sector business establishments, and financial institutions were engaged to obtain their insights, support and cooperation to improve the performance of the fruit and vegetable and handloom SMEs. This has helped to reduce the gap between SMEs, and other stakeholders such as service providers, leading buyers and suppliers in the value chain.

The exposure provided to high end markets, new products, trends, and input suppliers, encouraged the SMEs to understand market dynamics, their present level of operations and the areas for improvement. For instance, making direct contacts with leading buyers was an entirely new and promising experience for both parties.