Financial Times

Lankan entrepreneur nominated for biz award

Youth Business Sri Lanka said this week that Mustapha Abdul Kadar Mohamadu, a 34 year-old leather bags and purses manufacturer from Hambantota, has been shortlisted for an international award for young successful entrepreneurs.

Mr Mohamadu set up the Murshida Gift and Fashion Company after the 2004 tsunami destroyed his business and home, and he was forced to start his livelihood from scratch. He has been shortlisted in the Journey to Enterprise category for the YBI Entrepreneur of the Year award, a competition run by UK-based Youth Business International, according to a press release from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

After leaving school at 14, Mustapha was running a small but profitable company making and selling men’s underwear when the 2004 tsunami destroyed his business and home. Mustapha refused to allow the tragedy to ruin his entrepreneurial dreams, and, forced to start from scratch, decided to begin manufacturing leather bags and purses.

With no traditional means of accessing capital, Mustapha received a grant and mentorship from the Hambantota Youth Business Programme at Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce; ( the YBSL chapter in Hambantota), and set up Murshida Gift and Fashion Company. Mustapha’s products are now distributed across the whole island, and he plans to expand back into men’s underwear soon.

The winners of each category and the overall winner will be selected by a high-profile judging panel and will be announced on 16 November to mark the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The public will also be able to vote for the People’s Choice award, which will be open during the run-up to Global Entrepreneurship Week.

During the last year’s awards ceremony in UK, a HYBP nominee became the runner up in Youth Entrepreneur award.

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