The Manik Sooriyaarachchi Scholarship for Female Entrepreneurs
The Manik Sooriyaarchchi Scholarship for Female Entrepreneurs has been established by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in memory of Manik Sooriyaarachchi, who along with her daughter Alexandria, tragically died in the 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.
Manik was an Australian citizen and an alumna from the University of Swinburne in Melbourne. She was an active member of the Australia-Sri Lanka Alumni group and an entrepreneurial businesswoman who returned to Sri Lanka to contribute to the country’s economic development.
The Scholarship will fund a Sri Lankan female entrepreneur to undertake a business entrepreneurship degree at graduate certificate level at one of Australia’s top universities. It is anticipated one Scholarship will be offered each year for the next 5 years. The Scholarship will fund course fees, travel and living expenses up to AUD 55,000.
Most Australian graduate certificates in business entrepreneurship are for 6 months and the Scholarship funding has been calibrated accordingly. Should a successful applicant wish to undertake a longer course, any difference between the funding required and the support offered under the Scholarship will need to be found by the applicant.
The following list of recommended courses has been compiled to assist prospective applicants.
Applications are sought from female businesswomen and entrepreneurs with at least 5 years professional experience who have a clear proposal for expanding their current business or creating a new business in sectors that will expand employment opportunities for Sri Lankans.
Successful applicants will have a strong proficiency in English (noting that the relevant Australian courses will, on average, require an overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 or higher (with no individual band score less than 6.0) or equivalent TOEFL or PTE score.
In addition to their CV, applicants will need to submit a 400-word pitch on their plans to expand a current business or create a new business should they be successful in gaining the Scholarship.
To apply, register and access the online portal and fill the application form.
Only complete applications submitted by 17:00 (Sri Lanka Time) on 15 June 2021 will be considered for assessment.
To be eligible applicants must:
- be Sri Lankan citizens and currently residing in Sri Lanka
- not have applied for or hold permanent residency in Australia or New Zealand
- be a female businesswoman and entrepreneur with at least 5 years of professional experience
- have a clear proposal for how one of the eligible courses will improve your entrepreneurship and business skills, and how, upon return to Sri Lanka, you will expand your current business or establish a new business that will expand inclusive employment opportunities for Sri Lankans
- Proposals focused on ICT, export, value-added agriculture, tourism or social entrepreneurship sectors will be view favourably
- have a strong proficiency in English (noting that the relevant Australian courses will, on average, require an overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 or higher (with no individual band score less than 6.0) or equivalent TOEFL or PTE score prior to course application
- fulfill the eligibility criteria of the applicant’s selected course (see link to eligible courses), including prior education requirements
- candidates who are early career and/or people with disability are encouraged to apply.
Applicants must also provide:
- proof of citizenship (NIC/Passport copy)
- proof that they are a female businesswoman and entrepreneur with at least 5 years professional experience (CV plus documentation such as copies of business registration, annual reports etc)
- 2 letters of recommendation from business associates (e.g. employer, business colleagues and counterparts etc)
- a 400-word “pitch” on how one of the eligible courses will improve their entrepreneurship and business skills, and how, upon return to Sri Lanka, they will expand their current business or establish a new business that will expand inclusive employment opportunities for Sri Lankans
- an English Language Proficiency Test result sheet will be required either at application or prior to taking up the Scholarship if successful.
The above documents would need to be uploaded to the online application portal
For more information call 011 577 2980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.