In celebration of female entrepreneurs

Oxfam was part of International Women’s Day celebrations this year, supporting entrepreneurs from the ‘Sunrise Project’ at the exhibition fair organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs. The exhibition fair provided a platform for producers and women-led enterprises to showcase their products on a national event and obtain publicity for their products outside the regular marketplace and target audiences.

Following the theme ‘Strong women reveal the path for progress’ the exhibition fair saw the participation of 10 women-led enterprises supported by Oxfam. Their participation was facilitated by the collaboration of Oxfam’s Gender Justice and Economic Justice teams. The Sustaining and Nurturing Rural Agro-Industrial Social Enterprises in Sri Lanka (SUNRISE)  project is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia and works to strengthen women’s economic empowerment through social enterprise development in three sectors in selected districts in Sri Lanka, namely fruits and vegetables, spices and handlooms. 

The project was initiated in response to the lack of employment, income opportunities and social conditioning faced by women. The project is operational in Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Kegalle districts in Sri Lanka. The project supports nearly 700 SMEs, providing beneficiaries with business development support through coaching, networking with partners, enhancing product quality and training on various aspects of small business operations. 
Oxfam’s participation at the exhibition synergizes several elements from each of Oxfam’s key focus areas, including Gender Justice, Economic Justice and Communications in support of communities and sustainable businesses and is a strong example of Oxfam’s vision working in partnership for positive change.