‘National policy, legal framework vital for social enterprises’ | Daily News

‘National policy, legal framework vital for social enterprises’

Lanka Social Ventures Managing Director and CEO Dr. Lalith Welamedage said yesterday that Sri Lanka must focus on developing a new national policy framework and legal framework to support the development of a thriving social enterprise sector in the country.

He was addressing a media briefing in Colombo, recently.

He said social enterprises are becoming a prominent economic and social force in Sri Lanka with 38 percent of all social enterprises set up in the last 10 years. It can be considered as alternative ways of generating wealth, creating employment, promoting economic development, tackling poverty and social exclusion, sustaining vital community services, and addressing environmental issues.

He said it is estimated that there are about 15,000 social enterprises in Sri Lanka. This included creating employment and income-generating opportunities for young people and marginalized communities while working to support vulnerable children and adults while empowering women and girls.

Therefore, recognizing social enterprises as a key economic driver at the policy level and including them in the government’s economic development agenda are essential to address social and environmental issues. Many countries are adopting the social entrepreneurship model and reaping benefits from it. Not only does it aid the social sector, but it also boosts the economy and creates a proactive and socially-concerned young generation of entrepreneurs as well. Therefore, many nations aim to incentivize the startup of social enterprises because it directly aids in the role of the government to maximize social utility.

He said the government must pay attention to establish a formal responsibility for social enterprise at the ministerial level while supporting ongoing social enterprise support programmes that profile, promote, educate and inform the wider public about social enterprises to develop a deeper awareness of the role of social enterprise and to facilitate collaborative opportunities with the sector.

In order to provide an ideal opportunity for social entrepreneurs and persons involved in small and medium scale enterprises, aspiring entrepreneurs, policymakers, development practitioners, business service providers and researchers, the Lanka Social Ventures in partnership with the British Council, will hold the second international conference on Social Enterprise and Social Finance in Sri Lanka on January 28 and 29 at the Waters’ Edge, Battaramulla.



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