LIIN and WUSC to build a Storytelling Digital Platform for Rural Entrepreneurs
Posted Date : November 22, 2021
Lanka Impact Investing Network (LIIN) has entered into a partnership with World University Services of Canada (WUSC) to implement a two-year project to build a storytelling platform for micro, small, and medium-level entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.
The project will look at identifying entrepreneurs from the Central, Northern, North Eastern, North Western and Southern Provinces of the country who do not have the access to engage in social media and digital marketing and provide them with the opportunity to add their business to the platform. This new platform will showcase their stories and act as a digital business card for those listed entrepreneurs.
The platform will also compose of a mentoring component where the entrepreneurs will be able to set up short meetings with volunteer mentors listed on the platform to obtain business advice and expertise. The project will undertake an inclusive approach by targeting women entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, persons with disabilities, entrepreneurs from war affected areas among others, to list in the platform. LIIN expects to engage and partner with grassroots organisations who are currently working with entrepreneurs in the identified regions.
LIIN is Sri Lanka’s first and only impact investing firm focusing on channeling private equity into micro, small, and medium-level social entrepreneurs in the country. LIIN began its journey by co-founding ‘Ath Pavura,’ a TV reality show in the style of ‘Shark Tank’ and ‘Dragon’s Den’ where micro, small, and medium-level social entrepreneurs from across the country were given the opportunity to pitch their businesses to panel of impact investors in order to receive an equity investment.
‘Ath Pavura’ ran on a State-owned television channel in Sri Lanka for two seasons and attracted a TV viewership of over one million and 16,000+ subscribers on YouTube while also being rated as the number one business program in the country by LMRB.
WUSC in Sri Lanka works to build the capacity of local organisations, to improve opportunities for young people, especially young women, and to foster collaboration between different stakeholders, including private sector, NGOs, and Government. WUSC’s Volunteer Cooperation Project, IGNI+E (Innovative Global Networks for Inclusion + Equality), is a seven-year initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada. The project aims to contribute towards the improved social and economic well-being of poor and marginalised youth, particularly young women. In response to the emerging needs of our partners in their quest to support inclusive social innovation and social entrepreneurship, WUSC set up a Partner Innovation Fund (PIF) to improve the capacity of partner organisations in developing, testing, and scaling innovative gender-responsive initiatives and services for the equitable economic empowerment of vulnerable youth and women. We are proud to see IGNI+E partner LIIN was a Partner Innovation Fund recipient this year.