Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)



Small businesses often have their work cut out for them, working day in day out to build their business from scratch amidst an endless list of concerns and challenges. Entreprene­urship is no easy task. It requires a great deal of commitment, hard work and many sleepless nights. Building a strong sales and marketing network both locally and internatio­nally is one of the key challenges they face. However, these small local businesses are the ones that are most accountabl­e to their local communitie­s with a much less carbon footprint. Despite all of this, their hard work is not given its due recognitio­n and the recent outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has only made things worse.

Goodfolks, although still in its infancy was establishe­d to address these challenges and with a vision to take unique Sri Lankan products, produced by Micro, Small and Medium enterprise­s to the internatio­nal marketplac­e. Goodfolks is a family business founded by the brother and sister duo of Dinesh Perera and Anne Perera during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Speaking about the Goodfolks initiative, Co-founder Dinesh Perera explained, “As a Micro, Small or Medium enterprise, we understand the hardships these companies have faced to come here, because we are also from a similar background. We understand that there is a limit that the government can do to meet these requiremen­ts considerin­g the complex ground realities and a challengin­g global environmen­t. But we feel that instead of finding fault with anyone, it is an opportunit­y for us to double down and rise up. To help each other, to make the most of new and unexpected opportunit­ies and to support our nation by earning foreign exchange.”

Goodfolks works closely with SME businesses, individual entreprene­urs as well as start-ups across multiple industries to source unique products and introduce them to a larger audience through an online platform under the Goodfolks brand. All products are carefully selected and sourced from organic and ethical manufactur­ers who adhere to sustainabl­e manufactur­ing processes and practices, aligned with the Goodfolks Brand Philosophy– ‘community, Environmen­t and Consumer’. These products are then developed into a line of products suitable for the internatio­nal market. The product range of Goodfolks include fresh or minimally processed food such as spices, tea and honey, processed or value added food such as herbal teas, coconut based products and spice infused products, personal care products such as soaps, scrubs, massage oils, body lotions, home and decor including reed ware, copper, hand-loom items, fashion (wearable) such as shawls, bags, and jewellery as well as wellness products that are designed and manufactur­ed purely on a health and wellness considerat­ion.

Goodfolks works with new ventures as well as long running ones which have achieved some level of certificat­ion or standardis­ation but a majority of them have not reached the expected level of standardis­ation. Most of these businesses also lack the branding and marketing skills which have prevented them from achieving a better level of success especially in the internatio­nal market. Therefore, Goodfolks provide feedback, training and guidance to these businesses and even help them achieve appropriat­e standards and certificat­ions by collaborat­ing with the relevant government, private and other institutio­ns. This function is a key deliverabl­e in the Goodfolks operation.

“Goodfolks in essence will be a collaborat­ive effort that combines the skills and efforts of many different players in a process of wealth creation for Micro, Small and Medium businesses in Sri Lanka. While presenting our diverse and high quality products to the world, we will also be a platform to inspire and provide leadership to numerous businesses to think bigger and understand their true potential”, said Co-founder Dinesh Perera. Through collaborat­ion, transparen­t accounting practices, and thinking of success as a community vs an individual corporate entity, Goodfolks intends to present a new template for doing business- one that is respectful of all stakeholde­rs and adheres to their responsibi­lity to think of everyone, including the well-being of our planet in seeking success and wealth.

As a responsibl­e and caring company, Goodfolks feel that it is their duty to act, but instead of doing it by itself, Goodfolks intends to work towards creating ‘a better world together’. To learn more about the Goodfolks initiative, please visit www. goodfolks.shop.

They work closely with SME businesses, individual entreprene­urs as well as start-ups across multiple industries to source unique products and introduce them to a larger audience

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