Sri Lankan micro-business initiative for women gains special recognition at Singapore finals of Project Inspire

Singapore September 1 2012: In a surprise development at the Grand Finals of “Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World 2012” held in Singapore this week, main sponsor MasterCard put forward a US$10,000 Special Recognition Award, which the judging panel presented to LIFE– Livelihood Initiative for Empowerment from Sri Lanka. Their project aims to help a group of war-affected women returnees, largely widows, in Northern Sri Lanka enhance their entrepreneurship capacities through micro-business training and access to credit facilities in order to help them expand their livelihoods. The project includes training on goat farming, home gardening, business development, marketing and financial management.

Their team consisted of Dulma Kandaramage, Selina Kumar, and Ashokumar Jegatheepan.

Here is a video describing their project:

And a link to the project details:  

A joint initiative by UN Women Singapore and MasterCard, Project Inspire – now in its second year –was conceived in 2011 to celebrate the 100thanniversary of International Women’s Day and the 25th anniversary of MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The nine finalists – from India (3), Uganda, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka – were selected out of more than 350 teams worldwide who submitted their life-changing ideas to empower women and girls across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The submissions were in the form of five minute pitch videos (or written proposals) for a chance to win the US$25,000 grant.

Our story on a winning project from India