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Name: Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne
Business: Sustain Solutions, a youth-led mission to solve social and environmental issues
Industry: Social Enterprise
Location: Bolgoda Lake, Sri Lanka
Reason for starting: I wanted to provide underprivileged people with the opportunity to stand up with integrity and take on the challenge of self-reliance. I wanted to fulfill the philosophy, “Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry” instead of just providing these people with temporary monetary means.
As a young female entrepreneur, many males who have approached me with the prospects of marriage have expressed unhappiness at me running my own social enterprise and some have even requested that I quit to be a stay-at-home wife. This has only made me stronger and inspired me to create a more enabling environment for female entrepreneurs through a special training program that empowers and ignites them.
Related: Read about another female entrepreneur empowering people in underprivileged communities here.
How do you define success? Success is happiness.
Biggest Success: Being awarded the Commonwealth Youth Award 2012/2013 for Excellence in Development.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge has been working with investors and boards of companies who are 20 years my seniors. However, with a mature and knowledgable team, we have been able to successfully negotiate and continue with our work, creating win-win situations for all parties.
Related: Read about other female social enterprise entrepreneurs here.
Who is your most important role model? Wangari Mathai, she was a Kenyan environmental and political activist
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Read about another social enterprise entrepreneur here
Edited by The Story Exchange