MSMEs make up over 90% of all firms and count on average 70% of employment globally. 37% of all MSMEs in developing countries are led by women. In Sri Lanka MSMEs are clearly critical to the economy, contributing to over half of the national GDP and employing 45% of the country’s labour force.
A key to promoting inclusive business is addressing the gendered implications that hinder Sri Lanka’s growth and prosperity. As Chrysalis, we work with women and youth, supporting them in a range of economic activities that include start-up, growth and expansion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) including challenging the structural barriers and norms that continue to marginalize women and ignore their contribution.
In February this year we organized a National Symposium together with the Ministry of Samurdhi, Household Economy and Business Development in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, to convene diverse stakeholders to revisit Sri Lanka’s Policy on SMEs in order to identify and define holistic solutions to address the challenges experienced by women in the sector.
The dialogue enabled greater understanding and appreciation of long standing and critical issues as well as the need for consistent collaboration to find sustainable solutions. The following video encapsulates the highlights of the two day Symposium.