Ford Foundation to provide US$ 300,000 grant in a deal with the Lankan Angel Network
The Ford Foundation has reportedly decided to provide a US$ 300,000 grant in a deal with the Lankan Angel Network (LAN) in a bid to boost Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem.
“We look forward to our partnership with the Lankan Angel Network and their implementation of programs to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sri Lanka in order to address income and gender inequality,” Ford Foundation India, Nepal and Sri Lanka Regional Director Pradeep Nair has been quoted as saying.
According to reports, the grant, which is the Ford Foundation’s first financing effort in Sri Lanka, will see the startup ecosystem being further developed island wide, and reach multiple business sectors.
“While Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem has grown rapidly, it is still very much focused in Colombo,” the statement announcing the venture has said.
“The grant will focus on growing skills, entrepreneurship and reaching more people operating at the grassroots level.”
LAN Founder Prajeeth Balasubramaniam has reportedly said that the grant will support and accelerate eight programmes over 2020/21.
LAN will collaborate with key partners across the island, and support the ‘I AM HER’ programme to empower female entrepreneurs through the grant.
The financing will also help to launch an angel fund, and support the annual startup competition Venture engine, local media reports state.
Other initiatives will focus on founder and funder education.
The business conducive environment and the ease of doing business environment in the country have helped the growth and expansion of local businesses, especially in the small and medium sectors. The government of Sri Lanka is also focused on supporting the local businesses. Given the expanding economy and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country, foreign businesses/investors could explore business opportunities in supporting local start ups and SMEs.
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