Understanding the national importance of the issues related with solid waste, National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC) of Sri Lanka invited the Department of Entrepreneurship to design and implement a program for creating Solid Waste Management Based Social Enterprises together with all relevant state organizations, private sector entities and community networks has taken an initiative to introduce a multi-stakeholder solution in this regard. The core concept of the proposed solution is to create effective and efficient Solid Waste Management-Based Social Enterprises via Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach.
In view of addressing the above, an initial discussion was held at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura on the 7 August 2018, representing the National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC), National Solid Waste Management Authority, Department of Engineering Technology and Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Entrepreneurs who are already in the solid waste management business. Subsequent to this discussion a full day forum was organised as a brainstorming session to evaluate the course design and the modules with further sharing on business opportunities available and how these modules will be incorporated into the designed course on Solid Waste Management. The forum was organised by NHRDC and held on the 28th August 2018 at the National Foundation Institute representing National Solid Waste Management Authority, Local and Provincial Council officials, JICA, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Moratuwa, Entrepreneurs engaged in Solid Waste Management, KPMG, Environmental Protection Authority and University Grants Commission. A comprehensive course incorporating relevant academic and technical concepts, theories and frameworks was presented and an open discussion was coordinated by Mr. Rukmal Weerasinghe, Head, Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, in order to decide the depth of knowledge to be imparted, any inclusions/exclusions of the proposed course and to consider any valuable input in introducing a productive and successful program. Dr. K A Lalithadheera- Director/NHRDC, Eng. M. Madwalagama- Director/NSWMSC of Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Prof. Anul Perera- Faculty of Engineering/University of Moratuwa, Dr. Randika Jayasinghe- Faculty of Technology/USJ, Dr. Priyan Perera – Faculty of Applied Sciences/USJ, Mr. Channa Gajanayake- Department of Entreprneurship/USJ and Ms. Samuddhi Perera- Department of Entreprneurship/USJ contributed for this initiation as resource persons.
This workshop helped to design the proposed program with the opinion from different stakeholders enabling that it would not merely be a traditional classroom teaching program, but a course that involves the students in workshops/ inbound and outbound training and participative discussions and forums, preparing the entrepreneurs to successfully function the business they choose to operate within the Solid Waste Management framework. This program will contribute to provide a comprehensive knowledge base and the technical know-how with necessary networking with industry and government officials to confidently step into this area and feel motivated to continue making a change, playing a pivotal role in solving this burning issue in the country by converting solid waste to a valuable resource, product or a service.