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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ceyva Fund: Venture Capital to Empower Rural Communities

Daily Mirror: 02/10/2007"

Ceyva Fund, an NGO with the mission of eradicating poverty on the island applies the venture capital model to rural enterprises. The Ceyva Fund invests in village enterprises that provide critical goods and services to the poor, empowering local communities and catalyzing change.

The Ceyva’s Fund’s approach is innovative in Sri Lanka. They invest capital and incubate village companies that provide electricity, water, and healthcare to the bottom of the pyramid period in a sustainable fashion.

“Our rationale is that over 45 % of Sri Lankan lives on less than $2 per day and lack consistent access to electricity, clean water and basic health care. No other NGO in the country is addressing what is considered by the World Bank as a pivotal cause of poverty in Sri Lanka– the complete lack of equity capital and support to rural companies that provide these basic necessities to the poor in a sustainable manner” emphasises Arvind

Navaratnam, CEO of Ceyva Fund. With wide experience in venture capital and private equity investing in South Asia and the US, Navaratnam is well-poised to apply these models to Sri Lankan rural development.

The Ceyva Fund plans to invest in all geographical regions and ethnic segments as it seeks opportunities that are transformative and where significant value can be added by the Ceyva team. Ceyva’s initial projects focus will span energy, basic health care and clean water.
The first investments are focused on providing energy to off grid rural areas in the country. In one of the first projects in Ratnapura district, Ceyva is investing capital in ventures that will provide 175 families with electricity for the first time and where the villagers will be trained to self-manage the facility.

Ceyva’s initial capital commitment will be $500,000 USD with a time horizon of 5-7 years for its investments. All capital invested will be transparent to the donor base and portfolio companies will be regularly audited.

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