HRH the Prince of Wales met an award-winning young entrepreneur from Sri Lanka,Fathuma Nisreen, at a dinner in London held in his capacity of President of Youth Business International (YBI) on the 18 November 2010.
Fathuma Nisreen, who runs a women’s bags and clothes company Ramsi Fashion in Hambantota, is a beneficiary of the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC)’s Youth Business Programme (HYBP) which is the Hambantota District Programme of the Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) and was named as the YBI Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 earlier this year. The Prince met Fathuma at a dinner held for supporters of YBI, a global network that helps young people start their own business and which was founded by the Prince in 2000. Azmi Thassim Director General, HDCC participated at the event representing YBSL.
Fathuma, who said when she won her award in September that it was her dream to meet the Prince of Wales, has been a role model for women in her local community. She is one of the few women who have started up a business in Hambantota and she has been able to show that women can be successful in business without sacrificing their religious and cultural identity.
She won the award after being interviewed by a judging panel of experts on business and entrepreneurship at the awards final in Mexico. As well as the chance to meet the Prince of Wales, Fathuma received the prize money of $5,000 from Youth Business International.
The dinner took place at St James’s Palace and was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. YBI is a global partner of the campaign and much of its global network is involved in initiatives during the week
As part of YBI’s Entrepreneur of the Year competition, shortlisted entrepreneurs have been entered for the People’s Choice award. YBI announced Hitender Punyane from India and Fathuma Nisreen from Sri Lanka, as joint winners of the People’s Choice award. It was a very close competition and it was impossible to separate Hitender and Fathuma, who were on level with 44% of the votes. Nearly 16,000 of the general public voted via the Global Entrepreneurship Week website.