Village Biz Festival on July 20 | Sunday Observer

Village Biz Festival on July 20

Channa de Silva
Channa de Silva

Sarvodaya Development Finance (SDF) as a socially responsible organisation and Hatton National Bank (HNB) as a co-partner are jointly organising a ‘Village Biz Festival’ on July 20 at Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, adjoining the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo 7.

The main focus of this innovative event is to create awareness on sustainable business and life patterns that will mainly focus on upcycling, recycling, sustainable products and also music, art and wellness.

The event is expected to co-create a movement of inspiration for system change and positive impact in South East Asia and the entire world.

This international event named ‘Coexist’ will focus on enhancing sustainable methods for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. Hundreds of entrepreneurs will showcase their products and event will facilitate learning and understanding the frameworks of sustainable business.

“The Village Biz Festival will create a platform for entrepreneurs and to provide networking opportunities,” Sarvodaya Development Finance Limited Chairman Channa de Silva said.

The event will bring to the forefront discussions on sustainability while adding value to products and introducing novel products to the market such as Kurakkan ice cream. This festival will be an opportunity to create more of such food items, he said in an interview with the Business Observer.


The Village Biz Festival will be held as a carnival with a focus to entertainment aspect as well. There will be variety of music ranging from Hindi to old Sinhalese songs, classics and contemporary music which will be an integral part of the event with various dancing troupes adding colour.

Food will be a special aspect focusing on nutrition and authenticity. There will be lot of novel food items such as food made out of pumpkin and hot dogs with mushrooms. The Dambana Veddha community will be a feature at this event where a 12-member team will participate with their traditional cultural events folk dances and products such as bee honey. They will showcase their capabilities.

We will be engage with social media creating awareness of the event which could be considered a family event. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will be an ideal opportunity to interact and build business relationships while enjoying the festive mood.

Before the event, there will be a two-day residential program conducted by the University of Sri Jayawardenapura Postgraduate Faculty, Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing, Export Development Board and Institute of Packaging supported by Sarvodaya Movement. The program is expected to provide best of technical expertise with regard to fine tuning products of entrepreneurs, creating marketing platform and increasing managerial and leadership capabilities, supporting their finance management skills and providing them with access to finance. We also hope that the entire group will develop as one unit becoming a cohesive group emanating from different backgrounds.

We want to continue this program in a meaningful manner. The Co-exist Foundation organised a pumpkin farmer festival a few months ago. We came to the market where farmers from Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Monaragala were destitute being unable to sold a kilo of pumpkin for even Rs 2. In one single day of the festival we were able to sell over 100,000 kilos of pumpkin providing the farmers almost Rs 26 a kilo.

Thus, it was able to create an impact in the city making it a theme dish in hotels, restaurants and households.

The Co-Exist Foundation will organise and support the transport, accommodation, meals and all exhibition related expenses of the entrepreneurs who are participating at the Village Business Festival.