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Linda Speldewinde wins IYFE Award
Jan '09
The International Young Fashion Entrepreneur (IYFE) 2009 award is a British Council initiative in partnership with Sri Lanka Telecom that seeks to champion and celebrate the importance of creative entrepreneurs in the 25 to 35 age category working in the field of fashion.

Applicants were drawn from various areas of the fashion field including- fashion textile, accessories production and design, fashion promotion, fashion education, fashion marketing, fashion publishing etc. recognizing that an applicant may strongly influence the business of fashion without being a practicing fashion designer. Excellent English language skills were a pre-requisite for this award.

Out of the many applications received, 3 candidates were shortlisted based mainly on their written applications and supported by additional evidence of their entrepreneurial skill and ability. The short-listing panel comprised of Anoma Wijewardene(artist and designer), Carmel Kelly (Principal Lecturer and International Project Coordinator London College of Fashion), Darshi Keerthisena (Winner IYFE 2008/fashion entrepreneur), Prasanna Hettiarachchi (entrepreneur) and Ranmali Mirchandani (Manager Programme Delivery - British Council).

The shortlisted candidates were – Ahamed Bary Farook, Anupama Nawalage and Linda Speldewinde.

For the final interview, the shortlisted candidates were given an opportunity to make a short presentation expanding on their written application and addressing questions related to market awareness, vision and ambition and their desire to develop mutually beneficial engagement with the UK.

Linda Speldewinde, founder and Managing Director of the Academy of Design which is one of the premier institutes for undergraduate education for Design in Sri Lanka, was chosen unanimously by the judging panel as the winner of the International Young Fashion Entrepreneur (IYFE) 2009 award.

The judges were of the opinion that Linda would be a worthy ambassador for Sri Lanka as she understands the power and potential of the creative industry to create opportunities for people in this country. She has unlimited drive and ambition that the judges recognized as vital qualities to compete for this International award.

Linda as the National Winner, will compete alongside 8 other winners from around the world for the title of International Young Fashion Entrepreneur (IYFE) 2009 award to be held in London in February 2009. The 8 other countries are as follows - Brazil, India, Indonesia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Sri Lanka Telecom is the project partner for the International Young Fashion Entrepreneur (IYFE) award 2009 and the electronic media sponsors are Channel 1 MTV and YES FM.

British Council

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