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ILO and CCC join hands to foster entrepreneurship among young journalists

By: Staff Writer

July 07, Colombo (LNW): Thirty dynamic Sri Lankan journalists embarked on an entrepreneurial journey during a workshop held on July 13th and 14th, 2024, at NH Collection Hotel in Colombo.

This initiative, organized by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in collaboration with the Rainbow Institute of Communication, aimed to foster entrepreneurship among young journalists from various media backgrounds, including print, electronic, and digital platforms.

Selected through a competitive application process from 212 applicants, these journalists explored entrepreneurship as a career path, moving away from traditional aspirations of public sector employment.

The program, part of ILO’s South Asia Leadership in Entrepreneurship (SALE), emphasized creating an enabling environment for youth in the digital economy and e-commerce sectors. It provided training and awareness to equip participants with the skills needed to navigate entrepreneurial ventures.

Central to the workshop was the concept of entrepreneurship journalism, which highlights stories of innovation, startups, and economic dynamics.

Participants engaged in interactive sessions led by experts like Dr. Thomas King on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Charindra Chandrasena on developing impactful entrepreneurship stories.

Additionally, sessions on combating fake news by Fact Crescendo Sri Lanka’s Pavithra Sandamali and S.G. Prabhu, and leveraging Artificial Intelligence and digital tools for reporting by Hasitha Dela and Omar Rajaratnam, enriched the participants’ journalistic toolkit.

A highlight of the workshop was a panel discussion featuring young entrepreneurs Helani Adhikara, Malindu Pradinath, Kavindi Ransinghe, and Hansana Janinda, winners of the 2023 ILO-CCC SPARK competition. This session provided unique insights into entrepreneurship and marked the journalists’ first-hand experience in interviewing successful young entrepreneurs.

The culmination of the program included an announcement by ILO and CCC of a dedicated category for young journalists in the upcoming SPARK competition 2024. This competition, aimed at youth aged 15 to 30, offers a platform to pitch entrepreneurial ideas, providing workshops, national and international recognition, and networking opportunities.

The event was officiated by ILO National Project Coordinator Erandhika Dissanayake, Communications Officer Kaushalya Kathiresan, and CCC Senior Assistant Secretary General Manori Dissanayake, who encouraged participants to submit their work for this prestigious competition.

The workshop concluded with enthusiastic responses from the journalists, expressing their newfound interest in entrepreneurship through media content creation, pursuing their own ventures, and participating in the upcoming SPARK competition. 

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