I’ve already been put to work which is great, nothing like getting stuck in.
The first of many business partners I will be working with is a social enterprise spawned by a young and energetic Sri Lankan who was awarded the Stanford Social Innovation Fellowship in the late 2000s. The award provided much needed seed capital to get his business off the ground and since then, has shown steady growth with the help of a young and dedicated team of professionals.
The business produces and distributes a range of heirloom rice indigenous to Sri Lanka for both the domestic and export markets. The seed for a variety of rice is provided by the company and is grown by smallholder farmers struggling to make a living in these post-conflict times. The complete crop is bought by this company who then mill and package the rice, and distribute to individuals, supermarkets and institutional customers (schools, workplace canteens etc). Any profits made from this endeavour are for the benefit of farmers, with a portion of the funds held back to operate and grow the company.
I must admit to being rather impressed with this young group of professionals, they are smart, very sharp and hugely dedicated to making this work. They could be off earning far larger sums of money in the corporate world, but instead they have chosen to use their skills, education and experience for the greater good. Admirable for sure.
To be honest, this young team of educated guys know exactly what they need to do, I think I can help them with putting a little discipline around their planning process and implementation of the many initiatives they have on their plate. Interesting times (for me) ahead.
The team are based in Colombo but the rice is grown and milled in the North, and packaged further south of Colombo. Supporting this young team will require a little travel. Suits me!