In keeping with the vision and commitment of expanding women’s access to skills and income generating activities that lead to sustainable livelihoods and economic independence, the above programme aims at increasing a woman’s capacity to engage in entrepreneurial activities though a mentoring programme which will enable them to receive knowledge, insight , support and guidance from mentors.
The programme was launched at the walk organized by the WCIC to commemorate women’s day on the 8th of March 2015. As the first step, the WCIC organized a workshop on the 29th of May 2015 at the Dharmavijaya Foundation Hall where 53 mentees were invited to take part.
The mentees were those who had already sent inquiries from the publicity received at the Women’s Day walk, and came from varied backgrounds. Some are in micro/small businesses, whilst others wanted a start-up, or knowledge on how to apply for loans.
As the inquiries were varied and vast, we sat two mentors at each table of mentees for a session of interaction where the mentors were given a questionnaire to be filled with the details they gathered by speaking to them individually. This session also gave an opening to mentees to talk to mentors and gain confidence. The mentors present were business women, corporate leaders, bankers, and established figures in the fields of finance & accounts, beauty culture, education and law, and all were proficient in the field of entrepreneurship.
The programme also consisted of a session on Business Registration and Banking. The Business Registration session was done by Mr. Lalith Senanayake, partner of Tudor V Perera and Co. and the Banking session was conducted by Mr.Udena Pathirage from Regional Development bank. Also present was Mr. Sarath Bandara from the Industrial Development Board, and the mentees had the opportunity to ask questions from the experts present.
From the Evaluations that were done at the conclusion of the session, the WCIC hopes to formulate the next step to be undertaken towards the making of successful entrepreneurs from the women who attended the workshop.
The first meeting of the 'Mentoring program' a WCIC initiative to assist all women entrepreneurs to gain the knowledge required to manage and plan their finances and grow their business, was held 29th April 2015