Lanka Social Ventures conducted another successful two day event on 17th – 18th June to help environmental and eco-related social enterprises with their governance, legal and regulatory requirements. This programme was structured as a mini-conference model where experts in different areas presented content with audience engagement. This programme was organised as a part of the project carried out for British Council titled ““Building Enterprise for Sustainable Economies”. One of the main components of the program is building capacity of the social entrepreneurs and support potential entrepreneurs who can transform their business into a social enterprise. Under this project LSV partnered with UNGEF to support the environmental and eco related organisations to transform into social enterprises. The Small Grants Programme (GSP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the GEF Partnership, is a GEF Corporate Program that finances community-led initiatives to address global environmental and sustainable development issues. It is specifically designed to generate local action by empowering civil society organizations (CSO) and poor and vulnerable communities, including indigenous people and women. Supported by these programmes, Lanka Social Ventures identified a gap where the environmental and eco-related social enterprises lack exposure on how to legalise their business entities, the paperwork required and how to maintain the records needed etc. therefore we decided to invite experts from the related fields to help the social enterprises to gain the much needed knowledge and help them to fill the gaps they have left in their businesses due to lack of understanding.
The main sessions conducted were as follows:
We had about 40 participants attending each of the days. The 2 day event was held at The Renuka Hotel, Colombo. The presentations were done in Sinhala medium and it was requested from us as feedback to hold another session in English as well. Among other feedback was how most of the businesses just left the legal side without attending to it due to sheer lack of understanding and they now felt confident to go and get those important legal work done. They also appreciated how we gave an opportunity for 5 members to attend from each organisation so they can represent all areas of the business as the legal requirements are important for all areas of a business. Overall, it was highly positive feedback we feel quite achieved to have conducted this successful programme and hope we can hold another one for all social enterprises to benefit from.