Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Sri Lanka: CLGF project helps women entrepreneurs

12 February 2020

 

CLGF's DFID funded project in Sri Lanka to promote Local Economic Development is making very pleasing progress. The end of January saw a real boost to the businesses of entrepreneurs in two areas.   

 

Boosting opportunities for women entrepreneurs

 

Dummalasoorya is a very popular meeting point in Uddubbadawa District for an assortment of vehicles: motorbikes, cars and other heavy vehicles. It also provides an ideal opportunity for a number of small-scale entrepreneurs – mainly women – to sell various food items. The structure for this commercial activity, however, has not been very well-organised. 


Now, thanks to this CLGF project, the existing structures have been replaced with a series of standard sales huts or kiosks, leased on a monthly basis by the council. The result is a win-win situation with better conditions for the entrepreneurs and a new source of income for the local authority. Part of this revenue will constitute a separate LED fund which will be used for repairs and renovations of the kiosks and for any related projects. 

 

Improving local facilities 

 

The council has also agreed to renovate the small, adjoining footpath along the water canal, beautifying the area for wider use.


At the meeting point in Galgamuwa District Council, a group of women have been trained in business planning and food processing. This has led to the employment of 24 women (16 full time and with 8 sharing the space, on a morning or afternoon basis). This meeting point is situated by a lake and close to a council leisure area. The council has plans to renovate the area and make it a much more attractive place to visit: parking facilities, an elephant structure and a butterfly echo park; to hopefully draw in more people, who will be able to avail themselves of the refreshments on offer by the entrepreneurs. Following a grace period in February, the women will start paying rental charges from March 2020. Again, the council will maintain a separate fund for renovation and future LED projects. 
 

Benefits shared by many

 

CLGF Project Manager, Rajah Shanmugarajah said: "The results of this project are shared by many: the entrepreneurs get to grow their businesses; the councils receive an extra income; the people stopping at these meeting points are able to enjoy better facilities; and, in general, the areas have been improved for general use by citizens."

 

 

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