Northern Province Clothing Entrepreneurs are getting ready to make them bigger for future tourism

Business Planning Workshops from 10th – 18th February 2021

Dreaming and having a vision is important. It is the first step to creating something. However, being confident and working hard are the key ingredients, which will help any business to succeed. The recent focus group discussions conducted by the EFECS Project identified the issue of non-existence of a business plan for targeted SMEs gathered as societies in Northern Province. In order to bridge this gap, Tourism Value Chain arm of EFECS Project in collaboration with SANASA Campus & SANASA Uththamavi conducted a two days’ workshop to make the selected entrepreneurs confident about where they want to position as a society before beginning the planned capacity-building programme. Northern Province Department of Industries and Department of Cooperative Development assisted the programme under the flagship of Northern Province Tourism Bureau.

Accordingly, 54 growth-oriented entrepreneurs scatted in selected four societies of Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts received a comprehensive two days training on Business Planning and Entrepreneurship. 49nos of women entrepreneurs those who are currently engaged in cloth weaving and tailoring were empowered through these training. Developing a high quality business plan focussing on value added productions suites to cater to the tourism industry was the focus of this exercise.

17 Members including 13 women power loom Weavers, Tailors and Fitters of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society attending the business planning programme held on 10th & 11th February 2021 in Kondawil, Jaffna

14 members including 13 women handloom Weavers and Tailors of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society combined with Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society held on 12th & 15th February 2021 in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive

08 women handloom Weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society attending the business planning programme held on 16th February 2021 in Pandiyankulam Divisional Secretariat Auditorium, Mullaitive

15 Tailors in Vavuniya District combined with Kovilkulam Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society attended the business-planning programme held on 18 February 2021 in SANASA District Union Building in Vavuniya.

“There are lots of opportunities in the field of tourism for the clothing related businesses and proper value additions would open greater avenues to connect with the tourism industry. While effectively connecting with the supply chain of tourism accommodations, the clothing entrepreneurs would be able to create memorable souvenirs and amenities required for the tourists during their stay in the country” said Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism) addressing the audience in Jaffna.

She highlighted that following a strategic process starting from developing the ideal vision, mission and objectives would be the key pillars of success addressing 14 members including 13 women handloom Weavers and Tailors of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society on 15th February 2021.

EFECS is a pilot project which shows the interconnectivity of the value chain actors scattered throughout the tourism value chain in the rural sector and it creates a sustainable model for value chain-based developments that could alleviate poverty while strengthen the connected actors financially and non-financial aspects such as capacity building.

“Although the tourism industry stopped for a short while due to the pandemic, it will have greater opportunities in future for the rural areas like this as the modern travellers is mostly seeking for the nature and community tourism,” said Ms. Abeynayake delivering her welcome speech at the Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society on 16th & 17th February 2021, Mullaitive.

The training was conducted by a pool of qualified professionals trained by SANASA Campus through a residential ToT programme. A tailor made study package was developed by the project based on the identified gaps of knowledge under the continuous supervision of the project director of EFECS.

Ms. A.Vasuki & Mr. P. Raghawan, providing the knowledge on business planning for the power loom Weavers, Tailors and Fitters of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society on 10th February 2021 in Kondawil, Jaffna

Mr. Balasubramaniyam & Mr.A.Sudharsanwomen educating the handloom Weavers and Tailors of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society combined with Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society on 12th February 2021 in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive

Mr. K. Sasikaran & Mr. Balasubramaniyam providing the knowledge on Business planning for the women handloom Weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society on 16th February 2021 in Pandiyankulam Divisional Secretariat Auditorium, Mullaitive

Mr. S. Ajenthan & Mr. A. Sudershan conducted the business-planning programme for the Tailors in Vavuniya District combined with Kovilkulam Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society 18th February 2021 in SANASA District Union Building in Vavuniya

Power loom Weavers, Tailors and Fitters of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society attending the business planning programme held on 10th & 11th February 2021 in Kondawil, Jaffna

Women handloom Weavers and Tailors of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society combined with Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society attending the programme held on 12th & 15th February 2021 in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive

“SWOT Analysis is a simple but useful framework for analysing your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It helps you to build on what you do well, to address what you’re lacking, to minimize risks, and to take the greatest possible advantage of chances for success,” said Ms. Vasuki, Trainer addressing the members of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society.

The session was delivered in a simple language focussing on the skilled labour who does not hold higher educational qualifications.

Trainers educating the members of Mulliiyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society on 12th & 15th February 2021 in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive District.

Training the women handloom Weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society on business planning held on 16th February 2021 in Pandiyankulam Divisional Secretariat Auditorium, Mullaitive

Clothing sector can be identified as a sector, which has a higher women engagement as well as the youth. Financing poor micro entrepreneurs especially women and youth to establish their own businesses through provision of micro credit and training in business skills is important for Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The foundation for this empowerment programme was a success through the active participation of women towards the planning function.  

A fitter expressing her ideas at the training held at Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society

A young handloom Weaver of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society commenting on the programme.

Mr. Vishwanathan Sinthujan, (Former Market Development Officer for EFECS) and K. Hershanth Market Development Officer (EFECS) describing the way forward of the programme with the entrepreneurs at Mullaitive and Pandiyankulam Programmes

Northern Province Tourism Bureau, which is the responsible government entity for tourism development and promotion in Northern Province actively, engaged in this pilot programme where a successful linkage can be generated within the tourism value chain.

Ms. Priya, Development Officer of Northern Province Tourism Bureau sharing her views and ideas at the workshop in Jaffna

Since the pilot is mostly focussing on the Cooperative Sector, Northern Province Department of Cooperatives participated in organising the programmes.

Ms.Gowshika, Cooperative Development Officer for Jaffna expressing her views on empowering this sector along with the tourism value chain at the workshop held in Jaffna.

Mr. V.Vibulan & Mr.V.Nirubakaran, Community Development Officers attached to NP Department of Cooperative Development attending the programme in Mullaitive.

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. SANASA Uththamavi is a community-based society collaborating in women development in the rural sector to advance gender equality and empower women.

Ms. T.Saageny, Women Development Officer of Northern Province assisting the entrepreneurs in Jaffna

Ms.Y.Vibeeshana, MSME Officer of Northern Province organising the event to empower the women MSEMs in Mullaitive

Power loom Weavers, Tailors and Fitters of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society in a group discussion at the business planning programme held on 10th February 2021 in Kondawil, Jaffna

Women handloom Weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society discussing the progress.

The participants were given the opportunity to develop a sustainable business plan for their society and present at the workshop as group activities.

Women handloom Weavers and Tailors of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society discussing on the business planning aspects at Mullaitive

The programme ended up after developing a proper vison, mission and goals with business strategies for each society to uplift the business operations through the tourism value chain.

13 women handloom Weavers and Tailors of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society combined with Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society on 15th February 2021 in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive

08 women handloom Weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society attending the business-planning programme held on 16th February 2021 in Pandiyankulam Divisional Secretariat Auditorium, Mullaitive