Wednesday 25 January 2017
17:30 to 19:30
Admission free

Are you a young social entrepreneur looking to network and meet like-minded people? Do you have a business start-up? Maybe you have a business idea waiting to take off… Join us on Wednesday 25 January at 5.30 p.m., for an evening of networking and idea sharing at the British Council Library. The event is a chance to discuss the change in business and society that can be brought about by social entrepreneurs and the best ways of sharing knowledge and learnings. It’s also a great opportunity to meet your peers, see what exciting things they’re up to, and have a chat about the wonderful world of social enterprise. 

The evening is organised as a fringe event of the International Conference on social enterprises and SMEs for sustainable development and poverty reduction scheduled on 23 and 24 January 2017.

The event highlight will be the lively discussions and Q and A with 5 leading social entrepreneurs who are changing society through their business.

Please RSVP to 0777997800 or drop a mail to Places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. 

Please include ‘Social Enterprise Evening’ in the subject line, and your name, title and contact number in the body of the email.

Our five game changers are:

Anoka abeyrathne

She is the co-founder of Sustain Solutions ( an initiative for youth to make communities a better place through youth empowerment, capacity building and changing perceptions regarding the environment and education through interactive workshops and dialogues. Her work revolves on poverty alleviation through economic incentives, providing skills training for better employability such as IT training, basic resume making, eco-tourism, handicrafts making and organic produce making.

The youngest founding Shaper of the Colombo Hub, Anoka is the only female New Champion of the World Economic Forum. She is a British Council Global Changemaker, Active Citizen and Climate Champion. 

Lonali Rodrigo

Lonali Rodrigo, is the founder and designer behind House of Lonali the social enterprise that runs the ethical brand 'Lonali'. Completing her secondary education at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo , she moved on to Academy of Design to follow her passion in Designing. As soon as she graduated from the University of Northumbria with a  BA (Hons) first class Degree in Fashion Design and she decided to take the challenge of starting her own social enterprise House of Lonali providing Ethical fashion to the Sri Lankan market. In 2010 she was emerged a winner of the Ethical Fashion Award at the Sri Lanka Design Festival and in 2013 she was awarded  Emerging Designer Award and  Sustainable Designer Awards at the Sri Lanka Apparel and Fashion Awards.

Chinthaka abeysekara

Having graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA, with a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering Technology (Hons) on a full tuition scholarship, Chinthaka had the idea of entrepreneurship firmly inculcated at an early age. He gained his experience in successfully deploying a viable business, and further honing skills in niche areas such as Environmental Engineering – through formal education and project experience. As a true professional with a view of long term benefits to society through meticulous planning, precision, and delivery, Chinthaka currently holds the post of Chief Executive Officer at ‘Sisili Hanaro Encare’ and is a Consultant for ‘GITEC Consult GmbH’ in Germany. He is also the most viewed speaker from TEDxColombo 2016 with his talk based on Sri Lanka’s viable solution to save the environment while making profits.

Selyna peiris

Selyna Peiris (Attorney-at-Law) is a graduate of Law from the University of Hull and has Masters Degrees in International Business Law from University College London and Advanced International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria.  She is Director - Business Development at Selyn Handlooms - one of Sri Lanka's only fair trade guaranteed Handloom Company and one of the country’s largest social enterprises. She has previously worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and also works as a consultant for various government, non-governmental and international organizations in the area of social business and development.

Shanaka fernando

Shanaka Fernando is a Sri Lanka-born Australian. He is the founder of lentil as anything, a group of restaurants that operate on a " pay as you feel" philosophy. Shanaka came to Australia in 1989 after which he travelled extensively for six years around the world, encountering and learning from tribal societies that had sustained and built culture by honouring the custodianship life had given them. In doing so he explored ways of  building trust amongst human beings. After returning to Melbourne, Shanaka started Lentil as Anything, in 2000. His chain of restaurants have  grown over 16 years as a model that proposed a focus on 'people' rather than 'money'.

Shanaka was the first Sri Lankan to receive an Australian of The Year - 'Local Hero' Award by Prime Minister John Howard in 2007. He was inducted into The museum of Australian Democracy in 2010, for his promotion of freedom and equality.