Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards programme 2014 (AREA) held in Macau on 19th of June honoured Expolanka Holdings PLC for the Group’s involvement in the entrepreneurship development programme, ‘Venture Engine’.
This is the second time that the Group received recognition at the prestigious AREA awards designed to honour Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship in several categories, including Green Leadership, Investment in People, Health Promotion, Social Empowerment, SME CSR and Responsible Business Leadership. In 2013, Expolanka won an AREA award in the category of Health Promotion for its services to the less-privileged communities through the CSR programme ‘Expo Medix’.
Paddy Weerasekera, Head of Marketing, Corporate Communications and CSR for Expolanka Holdings PLC said, “We feel it’s our Corporate Social Responsibility to empower the community and contribute to the development of the Sri Lankan Economy.”
This year’s entry Venture Engine, has been providing entrepreneurs, opportunities required to launch their businesses specifically through, funding, development of stronger business plans aided by mentoring sessions and informative workshops with some of the region’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders for the past three years. Conceptualized by Blue Ocean Ventures and the Indian Angel Network, and backed by Expolanka as the Platinum Sponsor, the project creates a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch directly to potential investors while also providing comprehensive mentoring for the selected businesses.
“Over the past three years, Venture Engine has had a considerable impact on the start-up ecosystem in Sri Lanka. We have been able to raise over US$ 5 million and 20 startups in 3 years promising entrepreneurs who have ability and talent, but lack the financial resources and contacts,” commented Prajeeth Balasubramanium, Co-Founder of Blue Ocean Ventures.
The funded start-ups include 24x7 Techies, Ridgecrest, Takas.lk, Saraii, Healthy Living, Omak, Extrogene, Katha, Zig Zag, Zacki, My Wish, BPO Academy, Wild Trails, Trekurious, Intellocut, Endemic, Push, Glitteray, House of Lonali, & Nithya. The invested areas include IT/BPO, Travel and tourism, E-commerce and Design building up of the local start-up Ecosystem. As a result of Venture Engine, the Lankan Angel Network was launched to further support and build the start-up eco system. Today LAN has over 60 members including top CEOs of Blue Chip companies.