British Council presents ‘Youth-Led Green and Inclusive Businesses’ at ‘Pathways to Sustainability: Entrepreneurs’ Showcase’ Event

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The British Council Sri Lanka celebrated the successful pilot phase of the ‘Youth-Led Green and Inclusive Businesses’ project to commemorate the 2024 International Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day.  The ‘Youth-Led Green and Inclusive Businesses’ project equipped young entrepreneurs with knowledge, skills, resources, and networks, and aimed to transform existing businesses into greener and more inclusive models.

A discussion on the role of youth to support sustainable and inclusive business strategy was moderated by Dr Lalith Welamedage (Centre for Living Sustainability, University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland), and featured speakers Chandula Abeywickrema (Veteran Banker and Impact Investor), Achala Samaradivakara (Good Market), Chaminda Pathiraja (Ministry of Industries) and Yasas Nanayakkara (Prestige Ceylon Export Ventures Ltd).

The event, titled ‘Pathways to Sustainability: Entrepreneur’s Showcase,’ marked the culmination of the project. Thirty young business leaders from Sri Lanka had the opportunity to present progressive steps undertaken by them towards making their businesses greener and more inclusive with innovative solutions as well as network with key stakeholders and advocate for common causes. The British Council collaborated with two local organisations, the Green Movement of Sri Lanka and Lanka Social Ventures to implement this project. 

Chamindry Saparamadu, Director General, Sustainable Development Council Sri Lanka made the keynote address.

Orlando Edwards, Country Director of British Council Sri Lanka, emphasised the importance of youth leadership: “Our belief is that the future lies in the hands of our youth. They are not just the leaders of tomorrow but are making significant impact today. We are committed to supporting and empowering young people worldwide to address critical issues such as sustainability, and taking positive action to tackle and mitigate against the impact of climate change.” 

Orland Edwards Country Director British Council Sri Lanka.

Chamindry Saparamadu, Director General of the Sustainable Development Council of Sri Lanka, who delivered the keynote speech, highlighted the role of private enterprises in national development and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Private enterprises can develop business models generating greater social and environmental impact and make a vital contribution to the SDGs. British Council’s efforts will no doubt contribute to developing responsible and ethical entrepreneurship for sustainable development in the country.”  

The showcasing event also provided young, Sri Lankan entrepreneurs the opportunity to virtually network with several young green entrepreneurs from Scotland and to share each other’s experiences. This collaborative effort toward sustainable development aims to scale up successful models and create a network of young entrepreneurs driving the green and inclusive agenda forward.     

The transformative journey undertaken by the young entrepreneurs has empowered them to shape businesses that thrive economically while promoting environmental responsibility and inclusivity. By integrating sustainable practices at every step of the business, these business leaders are contributing to a greener and more equitable society.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language.  We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2022-23 we reached 600 million people.

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