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5th December 2010. The masses say there are no opportunities here and thus Nepal is facing a brain-drain, however, there exists a group of entrepreneurs who believe the solution isn´t to leave the country but to create jobs. The idea is not novel, unfortunately being an entrepreneur or business-minded comes with a lot of negative pre-existing notions in Nepali culture. All of that is hopefully on the path to being changed.
"Being a businessman is not a bad thing, the whole point is to have a sustainable way of development by creating jobs," says Ujwal Thapa, one of the founders of Entrepreneurs for Nepal. Thapa believes that, "there is now a new breed who wants to create an ecosystem that supports their vision".
To him, the whole concept is rather simple: be an entrepreneur, create jobs, help yourself, which then allows you to help the country, and live your dream. It may sound simple but it´s not. "Entrepreneurship is failing and then succeeding," says Thapa.
The key, it appears, does not lie in large funds but rather in networking, education and mentoring. Thapa says that´s what Entrepreneurs for Nepal strives to be, "A place that can develop and motivate innovative minded people to give them the support they need." Along with Entrepreneurs for Nepal, there are local and global initiatives to help you get started.
Besides Entrepreneurs for Nepal, there are organizations like Samriddhi the Prosperity Foundation that work to help youth get started. The foundation has many programs that assist the younger generation in gaining the skills and knowledge required in becoming an entrepreneur. Open to current bachelors or masters students, who are 18-24, is Arthalaya, an initiative that entails a five-day workshop to promote the concept of entrepreneurship and economics.
According to the website,, "The main purpose of this program is to engage youth in private sector and encourage them to build new businesses, create new opportunities and inject new ideas into the economy for promoting economic and democratic reform. The program will include mock debates; business simulations that will help youth understand the importance of entrepreneurship in economic reform as well as the political aspects in creating a business."
Another project Samriddhi took up this year was overseeing the Nepal chapter of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010 (GEW). Manish Jha, the Coalitions Relations Manager, said, "This is the first year Samriddhi hosted GEW, it wasn´t very big this year but we plan to continue with GEW in the years to come and hopefully make it bigger."
The events of GEW Nepal consisted of programs on various college campuses in Kathmandu and a series of events that featured Nepali entrepreneurs. The closing event on November 28 featured nine prominent Nepali entrepreneurs. "Entrepreneurs are not recognized," claims Jha, adding, "Friday´s program was a way of saying thank you for creating jobs."
The panelists shared their experiences offering golden nuggets of wisdom to students and other entrepreneurs. Ambika Shrestha, the founder of Dwarika Hotel, addressed the youth saying, "You are the present and the future of this country." Dileep Agrawal, founder of Worldlink, added: "We think too much, if you want to start something, you should just do it."