The Cathy Rich Centre (CRC) women entrepreneur of the year award recognises and rewards the tremendous contribution being made by women to the local economy. Research has repeatedly demonstrated the problems faced by women in micro and small level businesses including; balancing home and business commitments, lack of institutional support, low self-esteem, and not being taken seriously by business contacts and government institutions. Despite these problems, micro and small level women in the food-processing sector have started and successfully managed their own businesses.
The women entrepreneur of the year project will be specifically targeting women owners in micro-small scale food processing business and will highlight women who have started their own business or developed an existing business into a thriving enterprise. The award will celebrate those women who have shown creativity, determination, courage and entrepreneurial skills and talent and create role models and raise the profile of women food sector entrepreneurs in southern Sri Lanka, with the hope that these awards help to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps.
The award is being implemented with the kind support of Uniterra - Sri Lanka.
The Process and Criteria
To be eligible for an Award a nominee must be a past trainee of the Cathy Rich Centre with a track record of two years (sole proprietor or own or manage a registered small business) in the food/agro processing sector.
The entrepreneur must be from the following districts:
- The CRC will distribute application forms by mail and at the Centre, which are to be filled by the candidates and returned to the CRC by February 29th 2008.
- A judging panel formed by the CRC will review all applications that meet the eligibility requirements.
- A site visit will be conducted by the judging panel to the candidates short listed.
- Judging will be completed with due diligence by March 17th.
- Award recipients will be confirmed by March 24th and an invitation to attend the Awards ceremony will be sent out.
- The official ceremony will be held at the CRC on March 27th 2008.
What happens if you win?
- A past trainee of Cathy Rich Centre with a six month track record.
- Nominee must own a profitable registered business
- Must have up to date booking keeping/accounting system
- Must be a micro/small business (maximum of 20 employees)
- Hygiene, employment creation, product quality and variety will be assessed
- The four winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony at the CRC on April 5th 2008, where each will be presented with a certificate of achievement/commemorative plaque.
- Four cash prizes will be awarded (equivalent worth in equipment): 1st prize – 30,000.00; 2nd prize – 20,000.00; 3rd prize – 15,000.00; 15,000.00 (3,000.00 each)– five women entrepreneurs who had to overcome the most challenges.
- Press releases will be sent to all the major media outlets, which can potentially increase exposure for the women, open doors and generate respect and approval from community members.