Sunday, February 5, 2023

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UNESCAP to empower SL women entrepreneurs in e-commerce

Women make up only 25% of Sri Lanka’s Small- and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and it is important to look at how many of them have entered the regional and global market space. Lack of awareness among women entrepreneurs to tap regional and global markets is a common phenomenon in the developing world.

According to the Empowerment of Women project of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), women-led MSMEs in Sri Lanka can greatly benefit from having access to quality certifications, digital marketing tools, computer-based knowledge, marketing opportunities and intellectual property systems. This article aims at sharing information on the various opportunities for women entrepreneurs to engage with international buyers.

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), through various entrepreneur support programmes, helps women entrepreneurs in agriculture and manufacturing-based export sectors.

EDB has been conducting communication campaigns focusing on business, industry, and marketing practices and encouraging women-led MSMEs to register with EDB Sri Lanka and SheTrades programme.

South-West Asia Office of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has initiated a programme to facilitate and support women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka and to expand their e-commerce and digital marketing enterprises in the island nation.

The National Training project for Women Entrepreneurs on Promoting Business through E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, initiated by the Sri Lanka Embassy and Permanent Mission to UNESCAP in Thailand was launched recently.

It was jointly organised with the South and South-West Asia Office of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in New Delhi (ESCAP-SSWA) and seven prime Government institutions in Sri Lanka.

Under the project “E-Commerce Capacity Building for Women-led Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in South Asia” of the UNESCAP, 85 women entrepreneurs participated at the training programme .

They were nominated by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, National Crafts Council, Spices and Allied Products Marketing Board, Ministry of Women, Child Affairs & Social Empowerment, Industrial Development Board, Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board and Institute for Agro-Technology & Rural Sciences of the University of Colombo.

These 85 women entrepreneurs were provided hands on experience during the 03 day programme. Suveera Saxena and Deepali Gotadke of the ESCAP-SSWA were the resource persons.

Delivering inaugural address of the National Training was delivered by Minister of Plantation Industries and Minister of Industries of Sri Lanka, Ramesh Pathirana and welcome remarks were delivered by Director and Head, ESCAP-SSWA, Mikiko Tanaka and UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy.

Director and Head ESCAP-SSWA Mikiko Tanaka had bilateral meetings with Minister of Plantation Industries and Minister of Industries. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Education and Sri Lanka official representatives Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane, Director General of the Sustainable Development Council Chamindry Saparamadu, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury R.M.P. Rathnayake and Director General-Planning of the Ministry of Transport & Highways, Chinthaka Hettiarachchi during her visit.
Air France resumed flights to Sri Lanka today and will operate thric

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