The mandate Building the Capacity of Women Business Development Coaches is designed to empower and enhance the capabilities of Sri Lankan Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), with a special emphasis on fostering women’s entrepreneurship and promoting environmentally sustainable practices. A key component of the initiative is the Train-the-Trainers (ToT) program, which aims to select and train 30 women business coaches from all provinces in Sri Lanka, equipping them with the latest knowledge in business practices and digital literacy to support growth-oriented women entrepreneurs and those in rural MSMEs. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is the primary beneficiary of this project, receiving TA direct support from these training efforts.
Problem being addressed by CTIF
In Sri Lanka, women MSME owners face significant gender-specific barriers, including cultural norms, digital literacy deficits, issues with ownership and credit access, household labor burdens, negative banking attitudes, technology disparities, unsafe transport, and sexual harassment. The e-commerce boom, hastened by the pandemic, brought both opportunities and obstacles as many women entrepreneurs lacked the necessary trust and knowledge to fully engage with digital marketplaces.
This technical assistance intervention seeks to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis on medium-sized businesses, which has pushed women towards micro-enterprises in rural areas where sustainable business models are being developed. The mandate aligns with the government’s goals for export orientation, ease of doing business, and women empowerment. By creating a network of women business coaches, the project aims to foster personal growth in women entrepreneurs, empowering them to overcome societal hurdles and successfully manage their business environments.