MTI’s 'idea2fund' social entrepreneurs win the Ricky Mendis Grant

Four social entrepreneurs from MTI’s ‘idea2fund’ platform were selected and awarded a start-up grant from Mr. Ricky Mendis to kick-start their ventures. The entrepreneurs; Anoma de Alwis, Chathurika Kahavita, Bhagya Galawatta and Shalini Wickramasuriya presented their ventures and was awarded the seed funding by Mr. Mendis.

‘idea2fund’ platform was developed to recognize the most innovative entrepreneurial ventures in Sri Lanka. To that effect, these four women-led ventures served that purpose with innovative ways of addressing social issues with varying degrees of social impact. Below is a brief summary of the ventures that were presented:

Anoma de Alwis, a retired banker from Mahawewa, Chilaw, had the concept of producing egg cartons re-using old newspapers. Her venture addresses the waste management issue in the country plus the need for eco-friendly products. Similarly, Chathurika Kahavita’s venture aligns directly with the eco-craft theory: she intends to connect people to each other via quilled designed handmade cards. It’s handmade which guarantees creativity, uniqueness and a human touch to it.

Bhagya Galawatta’s venture is a peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) that targets pregnant and lactating mothers and children under the age of 5 years suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Sri-Lanka. In contrast, Shalini Wickramasuriya’s venture is to promote learner-centric education in English language. Her methodology is to foster and improve English by listening and learning which has been tried and tested with successful results.

‘Social entrepreneurship is needed to resolve the greater issues that society faces and the challenge lies in developing social ventures that are ‘sustainable’ over time. To that effect, ‘idea2fund’ has identified these four ventures and it’s my pleasure to support them at their nascent stage to become truly impactful in the future”, said. Mr. Mendis.

‘Social ventures are needed to solve, innovate and disrupt societal issues and challenges. I would like to give my personal thanks and appreciation to Mr. Mendis for taking time out to listen, support and encourage aspiring social entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka’ said Mr. Hilmy Cader, CEO of MTI Consulting.

Mr. Mendis, a philanthropist has supported many education and innovation initiatives, has agreed to seed fund aspiring entrepreneurs in his personal capacity in order to encourage young entrepreneurial talent.

MTI Corporate Finance is the corporate finance arm of MTI Consulting, a boutique strategy consultancy with a network of associates across Asia, Africa and Middle East. MTI Corporate Finance provides a comprehensive range of services, including due diligence, feasibility studies, funding new businesses or capitalization of existing ones – from IPOs to private placement facilitation, M&A facilitation, and advisory on governance, compliances and risk management.

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