THE 3ZERO HOUSE IN SRI LANKA

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📍 Localisation: Colombo – Sri Lanka

🗺️ Address: 30 Asoka Gardens Road, Bambalapitiya

📆 Date of launch: September 2023

🙋‍♀️ Overall capacity : 35 people 

🏘️ Space : 2 floors, one awareness / exhibition space, one meeting / training room, one courtyard to host events

CONTEXT

The 3ZERO House Sri Lanka seeks to address major issues that the country is facing and to create opportunities by finding solutions and doing things differently. As an example, the waste management and the concept of circular economy is quite new in Sri Lanka: only 30% of the waste is managed in Sri Lanka, and among that, only 3% of Sri Lanka’s waste is recycled. Given that the whole country depends 60% of its protein intake on seafood, there is cause for concern since it is projected that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean may surpass the number of fish.

The departure of a significant percentage of educated people, which contributes to the flow of knowledge, is also a major issue. The brain drain value is 7.6 index points by 2023, and Sri Lanka is ranked 20th globally while holding the 9th place position in the South Asian region. It is particularly alarming since it concerns most of the educated, talented, young workforce people.

Despite these challenges, Sri Lanka has a lot of potential: its literacy rate is high (93% of the population) and the country has good renewable energy base (wind power and hydroelectric power). Additionally, 1,650 Civil Society Organisations are officially registered in Colombo, indicating an active civil society.

ABOUT THE 3ZERO HOUSE

CONTEXT

The 3ZERO House Sri Lanka seeks to address major issues that the country is facing and to create opportunities by finding solutions and doing things differently. As an example, the waste management and the concept of circular economy is quite new in Sri Lanka: only 30% of the waste is managed in Sri Lanka, and among that, only 3% of Sri Lanka’s waste is recycled. Given that the whole country depends 60% of its protein intake on seafood, there is cause for concern since it is projected that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean may surpass the number of fish.

The departure of a significant percentage of educated people, which contributes to the flow of knowledge, is also a major issue. The brain drain value is 7.6 index points by 2023, and Sri Lanka is ranked 20th globally while holding the 9th place position in the South Asian region. It is particularly alarming since it concerns most of the educated, talented, young workforce people.

Despite these challenges, Sri Lanka has a lot of potential: its literacy rate is high (93% of the population) and the country has good renewable energy base (wind power and hydroelectric power). Additionally, 1,650 Civil Society Organisations are officially registered in Colombo, indicating an active civil society.

ABOUT THE 3ZERO HOUSE

Creating spaces dedicated to community development

Operating in line with Acted Sri Lanka’s strategy and development perspectives, the 3ZERO House Sri Lanka made its debut in the Colombo office, in October 2023 in Colombo. The House opened its doors around an original concept of an exhibition space around one major topic of Acted’s ongoing projects: waste management and circular economy. During the following months, all the activities that will be developed by the House will revolve around this topic – from the networking events to the entrepreneurship programmes.

The 3ZERO House Sri Lanka has the ambition to be closer to its target (BoP, youth, social entrepreneurs, CSOs) and to be at the origin of the opening other houses, in Batticaloa by 2024 and Vavuniya by 2025. Each house will be prioritizing one the 3ZERO pillars. Colombo prioritizes carbon-centric measures that emphasize youth participation, trash management, and women’s empowerment in line with Circular economy. Batticaloa, meanwhile, places more focus on the exclusion pillar, which addresses issues like women’s inclusion, religious discourse, catastrophe risk reduction, and support for fishing communities. In Vavuniya, efforts to combat poverty include sustainable farming, youth engagement, and entrepreneurship; these efforts are in line with Acted’s all-encompassing strategy for community development.

The establishment of 3ZERO House in Sri Lanka is a critical and appropriate reaction to the various issues the nation has encountered in the last several years. After years of civil conflict, the terrible effects of the tsunami, and the Easter bombing attack exacerbating religious tensions, Sri Lanka faces a difficult combination of environmental, social, and economic issues. The country has suffered from a severe brain drain as bright young people and professionals, such as engineers and doctors, have left the country in search of better prospects overseas. In spite of this, the 3ZERO House stands out as an indicator of hope, well-positioned to tackle important problems like waste management, youth involvement, and women’s empowerment. It provides concrete answers for sustainable development and fosters community resilience in the face of difficult obstacles.

An innovation lab at the heart of Colombo

The 3ZERO House promotes itself as Acted’s innovation lab. This vibrant center acts as a forum for young activists, providing chances for networking, entrepreneurship training, and the development of creative partnerships. In line with Acted’s main initiatives, the 3ZERO House concentrates on important topics including entrepreneurship and youth involvement. The 3ZERO House strives to stimulate positive change by offering an active venue for collaborative endeavors and revolutionary ideas. It is testimony to Acted’s dedication to tackling the country’s most important issues and building a resilient and innovative community.

Entrepreneurs have been chosen to develop their innovative business ideas and are currently being provided with incubation training to build their first prototype.

A pioneering project aiming at fostering and assisting young entrepreneurs in the field of zero waste and zero carbon solutions is one of 3ZERO House’s typical initiatives. The journey began with a successful Lankathon, whereby eleven enthusiastic individuals obtained comprehensive instruction on initiating startup ventures and crafting persuasive pitches. Seven entrepreneurs were selected to be a part of this project and will each get the funding after a thorough screening process. A critical stage of the endeavor has begun, giving these aspiring inventors training in incubation to polish their concepts. Following the conclusion of the first training session, this project prepares a group of environmentally conscious business owners who are ready to have a big influence.

Key figures

7

entrepreneurs in the circular economy sector supported

4

partners involved in activities

10

past or future events until January 2024

1st

pre incubation programme launched

PARTNERS