The current women’s economic empowerment interventions around the world have proven that there are many obstacles faced by female entrepreneurs. The emerging evidence from psychology and experimental economics on agency, mindset, and leadership show that for successful interventions to be transformative, they need to move beyond basic access to financial and human capital and also tackle central psychological, social, and skill-constraints on women entrepreneurs.
Seeing this need, London Stock Exchange Group Sri Lanka (LSEG) chose to partner and drive Hatch’s KICKASS Series 4, which is geared towards empowering women entrepreneurs.
Having first started in March, Hatch; the hub for all things startup, completed three cohorts of its programme tailored to nurturing female founders and is now ready to launch the fourth iteration of its incubation programme to support and empower a whole new group of women in business, together with LSEG. As a dedicated space for growth and collaboration with the goal of supporting innovators and entrepreneurs, Hatch and the Kickass Bootcamp series complements LSEG’s goal of championing gender equality and empowering entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The programme is specially designed for women and addresses gender-specific concerns faced by women in business while encouraging networking, knowledge-sharing and mentorship from peers and industry experts. LSEG understands that this is an integral part of creating a foundation for female-led businesses to thrive.
As a leading global business with an expansive footprint in Sri Lanka, LSEG strongly believes in contributing to the communities in which the organization operates in. As such and as a part of their CSR and sustainability mandate, the organisation is committed to supporting gender equality and entrepreneurship as a means of contributing to the country’s long-term social and economic development. Furthermore, LSEG’s company-wide flagship initiative – the Women Inspired Network (WIN) – embodies these ideals and focuses on nurturing talent at all levels, both internally and externally.
Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at LSEG SL, Bani Chandrasena said “We believe that some of the main challenges female entrepreneurs face is the lack of access to funding channels and to the right know-how in order to grow their businesses. As such, LSEG finds it important to channel our efforts towards addressing these issues via targeted funding and programmes such as the Hatch Kickass Bootcamp, with the inclusion and support of other corporates.”
Throughout the years, LSEG has continued to work with local and global charity partners to conduct numerous initiatives that support their long-term CSR objectives. In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020, they partnered with Apeksha, a female-led organisation that provides sustainable employment for visually impaired women to raise LKR 400,000 by staff locally and in the APAC region with all proceeds going to the charity. They continue to work with the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women in order to support its self-employment fund, along with partnering local universities for multiple programmes promoting women in IT, and forums such as The Diversity Collective LK that are committed to increasing female engagement in the ICT and service industries.