Women Entrepreneurs Learn to Create, Grow Businesses in Kandy

Women entrepreneurs light the lamp prior to the launch of the American Corner Kandy women’s entrepreneurship trade fair.

Women entrepreneurs from the Central Province promoted and sold their products at a U.S. Embassy-sponsored trade fair at the American Center in Kandy on March 30, 2017.  This fair served as the capstone event for a five-month program to provide entrepreneurial skills to women representing the area’s diverse communities.

The free program provided participants with English language training as well as intensive workshops on marketing, production, use of social media, and other business skills.  As a result, most of the women have established or are in the process of establishing small businesses.

U.S. Embassy Colombo Assistant Information Officer Rachel O’Hara greeted by a young entrepreneur at the launch of the women’s trade fair.
Kandy Deputy Commissioner Dileepa Piyadasa cuts the ribbon to launch the women’s trade fair.

“We support the vision of a prosperous Sri Lanka with equal opportunity for all its citizens, and applaud the women who participated in this program,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap.  “When women succeed, society succeeds.”

Dr. Shobana Rajendran of the University of Peradeniya developed and implemented the program to provide women with the necessary skills to be self-sufficient and support their families.  The March 30 trade fair allowed program participants to showcase their merchandise – including agricultural items, paper products, and handicrafts – to company representatives and the public.

“The program helped marginalized women with great talent develop the skills and confidence necessary to become successful entrepreneurs.  Some were able to bring their products to the global market within a very short timeframe,” said Dr. Rajendran.

Handicrafts attract visitors to a stall at the American Corner Kandy women’s entrepreneurship trade fair.
Hand-made keychains on display at the women’s entrepreneurship trade fair.

The United States has a strong commitment to empowering women and girls.  Learn about the U.S. Department of State Office of Global Women’s Issues here:  https://www.state.gov/s/gwi/