One month since its inception, Ath Pavura, the first ever TV reality show for social entrepreneurs and impact investors hosted on nation’s premier TV channel is creating a unique platform to flow equity capital to micro, small and medium level entrepreneurs.
It is Sri Lanka’s first reality to show to promote entrepreneurship and impact investment aired on ITN.
Lanka Impact Investing Network (LIIN) Chairman and veteran banker Chandula Abeywickrema is the Co-Founder of Ath Pavura, with more than 30 years of experience in the banking sector and having been a leading figure in initiating many programmes to uplift and strengthen micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. Along with Social Enterprise Lanka Founder Eranda Ginige, Chandula pioneered and Co-Founded this timely initiative for Sri Lanka.
Ath Pavura is designed to create access to equity capital for Lankan social entrepreneurs at micro, small and medium levels to propel their businesses impact on the society and the environment through their products and services on television and to pitch their new social business ideas.
“But in our case it is all about debt capital. Corporate level debt is priced between nine percent to 16 percent, retail is between 14 percent to 23 percent and micro is between 20 percent to 45 percent, so how can an entrepreneur start a business because the maximum that any start-up entrepreneurs could give back as the return on investment is between three percent to 10 percent. For me and the founder of Social Enterprise Lanka Eranda Ginige, it took three years to go on this journey towards creating this unique platform; Ath Pavura and it wasn’t an easy journey as there were many obstacles and challenges. This idea came at a time where we could see many entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium levels being entrapped in debt. Ath Pavura is a platform that will create awareness in the country about what social entrepreneurship is, and who the true impact investors are, whilst creating the access to private equity capital as investment not as a debt to support the micro, medium and small scale entrepreneurs across Sri Lanka,” he noted.
“We have lined up 30 impact investors who would be part of the LIIN and we have nine of them committed with the Ath Pavura programme as the pioneering impact investors as ‘Tuskers’ of Ath Pavura TV reality show. It just completed seven successful programmes aired on ITN. The show is aired every Sunday from 9:30p.m. to 10:30p.m..”
The nine investors including Abeywickrema started with one million Rupees each, and now it has been increased to Rs.12 million within three months since starting the programme.
“Our goal is to build a community and network of over 1000 passionate impact investors across Sri Lanka within the next two years whilst targeting 10,000 social entrepreneurs. These impact investors who have been very successful entrepreneurs by themselves have created wealth from the society and the environment which they anchor their successful business to, and they now want to give back to the fabric of society and environment which they are an integral part of, not only to their kith and kin,” Abeywickrema added.
Ath Pavura co-partnered and co-hosted by LIIN, Selanka and ITN is that dynamic platform now here to stay and here to do that. Ath Pavura is powered by the partnership HNB, Dialog, Horizon Campus and Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.