REN wins entrepreneurship in sustainable devpt award
Sri Lanka's Rural Enterprise Network (REN) has won the
Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development Award at the 2010 Supporting
Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Developments (SEED) awards.
The SEED Awards recognise inspiring social and environmental
entrepreneurs whose businesses can help meet sustainable development
challenges. By helping entrepreneurs to scale-up their activities, the
SEED initiative aims to boost local economies and tackle poverty, while
promoting the sustainable use of resources and ecosystems.
REN, a social marketing organisation established by rural farmers
primarily in the south of Sri Lanka aims at linking small-scale farmers
to input-output markets.
By organising producers in a network of organic agro - and food
processing enterprises, the farmers will benefit from improved product
quality and joint marketing services.
Presenting the 2010 SEED Award and Certificate to REN, Acting
Resident Representative and Country Director of the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka Douglas Keh congratulated REN
for its local contributions and global achievements.
"We are very pleased that one of the frontrunners in advancing the
green economy is based here in Sri Lanka.", said Keh underscoring the
importance of equitable access, partnerships with private sector and
sustainable livelihoods. "Sri Lanka has the ability to produce a number
of agricultural products that are in demand locally as well as
It is vital for many rural farmers to be capacitated and organised
for producing such products.
He added that as a long-standing partner and contributor to Sri
Lanka's development achievements over the last 50 years, through good
and hard times, the UNDP has unique capacities to help the Government to
meet these objectives.
Programme Manager of the SEED Initiative Constance Hybsier who
represented SEED at the event said: "The start-up initiatives that
qualify for the SEED Award demonstrate creative ways of tackling
problems to provide social, environmental and economic benefits, based
on an understanding and recognition of issues at local level.
SEED winners such as REN are setting examples of how small
enterprises are contributing towards a greener economy and a more
This year, the SEED Awards have selected 30 innovative start-ups
throughout the developing world, including initiatives from China,
Colombia, Sri Lanka, and several African countries.
SEED Winners receive individually-tailored capacity building in areas
such as business and financial planning, and partnership management;
access to relevant expertise and technical assistance; and introduction
to potential new partners and networks.
In addition, SEED makes a financial contribution towards implementing
the support needs of each winner.
SEED was founded by UNDP, UNEP and IUCN at the 2002 World Summit on
Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Partners in the SEED Initiative
in addition to the founding partners are the European Union, the
governments of Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the
United Kingdom and the United States of America.