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Friday, 18 February 2011

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Moratuwa fashions product development

The Moratuwa University’s eight week Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training course, to support the growth of entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka’s apparel and creative industries which commenced recently has had a good response, Fashion Design Degree Course Director Dr Nirmali de Silva said.

She said the companies who had sent their personnel for training included Hirdramanis, MAS Intimates, Bodyline, Sanchia and those who wished to establish new businesses.


Fashion designing

Among the Sri Lankan companies that delivered case studies was “Siddhalepa”, while Hatton National Bank did a presentation on SME Development.

Delegates are expected to produce a business report that explores new business models and evaluate the challenges and conditions that are critical to sustainability and survival.

The evaluation has to be in the context of a new start up business or an existing business unit that needs to become proactive and influence change within an organisation.

The unit is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and group tutorials. Relevant fashion industry case studies are being used in seminars to enable the students to demonstrate understanding of contemporary issues.

Two leading academics from the London College of Fashion (LCF) Dr Lynne Hammond and Dr Julia Wolny travelled to Colombo to launch the course.

Hammond, has been the Manager of International Educational Consultancy Office (IECO) at London College of Fashion since May 2008.

Her,expertise ranges from training and business development for the fashion industries, collaborative management strategies, international project management, business strategies and entrepreneurship management.

Wolny, is the Fashion Business Resource Studio Director at LCF. Alongside working on projects within the fashion industry, she has been a senior lecturer in marketing at LCF for the last seven years, engaged in high profile agendas of the fashion industry, including new media technologies, mass customization, creativity and innovation.

Hammond, said the “Face Block” would be followed by an online text and chat session with the students.

“We have set up a Wiki where all of the learning handouts and resources have been uploaded. This will encourage student centred learning and make distant learning more interactive and collaborative. It would also improve university inter department cooperation and support knowledge sharing between UK and SL apparel and creative markets. All the students will have access to this online repository from work or home.

The CPD unit, has been developed as part of the policy dialogue for enterprise education in Sri Lanka, between the Moratuwa University and LCF, which was affiliated to the University of Arts, London. It focuses on three key elements, namely the founding of a new fashion business, development stages of a fledgling business and how to foster professional management within a maturing small fashion business, she said.

De Silva said the British Council which was funding the course, had provided 3000 sterling pounds worth of books.

“The British Council is currently supporting Sri Lankan universities to develop their Enterprise Education and promote Graduate Entrepreneurship through education partnerships with leading entrepreneurial universities in the UK. These partnerships are funded by the UK Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education.

“The courses topics include “Business Environment and Entrepreneurs”, “Marketing your Apparel Business”, “Understanding Your Customer”, “Business Modelling” “Pitching and Presenting Business Ideas and Concepts”, “Case Study Analysis of Successful Brands” and “Branding Concepts and Strategies.”

Hammond said that upon successful completion of the CPD unit, participants would be able to evaluate new business opportunities and assess its viability and apply professional planning, management skills and knowledge needed for a new business; able to communicate business strategy and operations to stakeholders through verbal or written communications; identify the needs of the internal and external team required for a micro or small business and appraise practice and skills to project their future within the industry. “Initially, the entrepreneurs have to critically evaluate themselves and the opportunities available before launching a new business.

Once a micro business has started the first two to three years are crucial to long term success.

Therefore these stages of development must be handled professionally and with strategy in mind.”

Small business leaders are dealing with a multitude of challenges to keep their businesses afloat as the economy turns. The aim of producing a business report was to develop intellectual competences to analyze and solve emerging problems as part of the start up phase and beyond”, she said. “It is an important part of the explorative process of start-ups and enterprise managers. It is important to understand the key challenges; opportunities and barriers facing small businesses and new business units.

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