Crafting a successful business

Wijayangani doing the creative side of the woodworking business she owns with her husband, carefully carving out intricate floral designs.

Wijayangani and her husband Saman Bandara make a great team running a woodwork business in Sri Lanka. Saman is a carpenter and creates windows, doors and furniture and Wijayangani manages the creative side of it; carefully carving out intricate floral designs.

They started the business in 2012 with the help of a microfinance loan from VisionFund. The first loan was about US $140 and it helped them purchase basic tools like chisels and handsaws and set up a small work space at the back of their home. Another loan of US $560 helped purchase machinery to cut, drill and sand the wood. As the business grew, they were able to slowly build a house of their own. 

Wijayangani wants to purchase a machine to help her carve the wood, since she currently does this by hand. It takes her nearly four hours to carve a single panel of wood. “I used to do art in school,” she says, and she has now found a way to transfer that passion to help the family earn a living. 

Wijayangani carving out a design while her husband Saman watches.

Their daughter Dilmi is 12. She is not interested in drawing but loves to dance. Their son Sajith is 19 and has just finished school; he hopes to continue his education and achieve a degree in Commerce.

The family is always busy and has a photocopy and laminating machine to cater to the needs of school children; and they own an acre of land where they grow coconuts to sell. They are also involved in a lot of village charity work; everything from canine vaccination programmes to village meetings/programmes take place at their house. 

With the help of microfinance loans, hardworking small-business owners like Wijayangani and her husband have the financial support needed to create livelihoods using their talents to provide income.   


Written by Megali Nanayakkara, Network Communications & Social Media Manager, VisionFund International