Meet GES Delegate:Yasisurie Kiribandara
Name: Yasisurie Kiribandara
Twitter handle: Yasisurie
Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Organization Name: Yasisurie / Weddings by Yasisurie & Oneera
Organization Website: http://www.yasisurie.com
Brief Description of Organization: Yasisurie has always had a passion to make people happy, and clothing and design are her mode of expression. She also had a drive to do something to support women from lower income strata of society. She felt women could contribute much more by balancing a family life in Sri Lanka and not conforming to a hectic job schedule of 8–10 hours a day working a factory. Yasisurie trains and employs women who are battered and from a lower income, and helps them by making them partners
Yasisurie founded the company in 2014 after working in the industry for 8 years, and her work was instantly recognized by Colombo Fashion Week where she won the Gen-Next award in 2014 for her first collection. She was also invited to join the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka.
What inspired you to start this organization: From a creative point in a country where creativity is not recognized much, she wanted to be a creative entrepreneur with a social impact- to push the boundaries. If we have come thus far in apparel manufacturing why not in fashion design?
In a country where women from lower income levels need to learn to be small business entrepreneurs and create a work environment that does not exploit but enhances their capabilities, Yasisurie wanted to create a workspace where they are treated well and can feel a sense of “ownership,” and not be as machines working in a factory with no sense of the bigger picture.
What is the next big step you hope to help your organization reach? Yasisurie wants to use #GES2016 Summit as an opportunity to create awareness on what can be done further to enhance women entrepreneurship in fashion for battered or lower income women.
#GES 2016 is a golden opportunity to reach out and network with great people and be mentored, and also to pitch ideas on what we can do to further enhance our work together by collaborating with like-minded entrepreneurs. We are also looking for possible investment should we meet the right persons who would be partnering with us on this journey.
What has been your biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur? Our training module is ever expanding and procuring resources to do so in the long run. We have also had limited opportunity in reaching a global market where our designs can be sold more.This is a work-in-progress.
What advice would you give other emerging entrepreneurs? Have a passion and follow it! If you follow your passion it will work and give you joy and satisfaction. Always look for mentoring and collaboration. Be wise with advice you receive. Team work is the way forward. Above all believe in your vision and believe in yourself, that is the key!
Have short-term and long-term goals- even on a daily basis.