HSBC together with Young Entrepreneur Sri Lanka (YESL) and the Ministry of Education launched the ‘Future First Company’ program, as part of the Bank’s Global Education Trust ‘Future First’ to empower the entrepreneurial skills of young children.
The launch was held at the Hewavitharana Vidyalaya in Rajagiriya and was attended by HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives CEO Nick Nicolaou, senior management of HSBC, Ministry of Education Additional Provisional Education Director Wimal Gunaratne, Young Entrepreneur Sri Lanka (YESL) President Deshamanya Patrick Amarasinghe, HSBC Future First team leaders, principals, teachers and students from ten local schools and SOS children’s village.
HSBC’s Future First Education program thrives on helping needy children become self sufficient and active citizens that contribute to the economic prosperity of the country. The launch of the company Program marked the final stage of the Future First project that was started in Sri Lanka in 2007, with the introduction of the elementary school program to help foster entrepreneurial skills of 1,000 talented underprivileged children. The second phase – the middle school program was launched in 2010 and concentrated on reinforcing the value of workforce readiness entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
The company program being the third stage will train participating students on how to form mini-true to life companies under the guidance of volunteer business advisers. They will also learn to produce and commercialise products and services, elect office bearers, maintain records, conduct stockholder meetings and liquidate (usually returning a profit).
“We are happy to be a catalyst in entrepreneurship education and support young children who have the potential of becoming future businessmen and businesswomen in the country. We are pleased at the results gained from the Future First program in Sri Lanka, since its inception five years ago and hope this program will be a model, that can be adopted by other corporates to help deserving children restore sustainable livelihoods for the future,” commented Nicolaou.
In addition, HSBC Sri Lanka will conduct a Company of the Year competition where the overall performance will be evaluated and the Best President, Financial Director, Marketing Director and Human Resources Manager will be judged and selected. In addition, regular visits to successful business ventures, outward bound programs with sharing of success stories will be availed as part of the program.
“The Future First program has benefited more than 1000 needy children and helped them decide on a career path for the future. This is a good example of corporate social responsibility by HSBC to support, inspire, and groom the younger generation to succeed in a global economy with social responsibility,” stated Deshamanya Amarasinghe.
Teachers will also be given the chance to participate at interactive refresher programs to enhance their teaching skills and techniques. HSBC staff will get involved in the execution of these programs with over 300 staff volunteering their time to work closely with the students.
Participating schools include, Methodist Vidyalaya – Dehiwela, Saddammodaya Vidyalaya – Moratuwa, Thalahena Vidyalaya – Negombo, Mahamaya Balika Vidyalaya – Nugegoda, Herman Gmeiner – Piliyandala, St John’s College – Dematagoda, SWRD Bandaranayake Vidyalaya – Borella, Hewavitharana Vidyalaya – Rajagiriya, Sri Parakramabahu Vidyalaya – Narahenpita, Revatha Vidyalaya – Nugegoda and SOS Children’s Village, Piliyandala, Kahapola and Peraliya.
‘Future First’ - a global US$10 Million five year initiative collaborating with SOS children’s villages – the world’s largest NGO for orphans in 2007, was launched through HSBC’s Global Education Trust. The program was implemented through the participation of country coordinators, in countries where HSBC is present, to provide education, healthcare, counselling and shelter to hundreds of thousands of street children, children in care and foster children.
Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest and fastest growing organisation dedicated to educating young people in business, economics and free enterprise, and HSBC has collaborated with YESL and Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, in the implementation of this project.