Celebrating entrepreneurs who create social, environmental and economic values
Surya Nepal has announced the 15 finalists for the second ‘Asha Social Entrepreneurship Award’. Of the 15 finalists, five will be awarded on December 18 for their innovative ideas, commitment and vision for social change. In this edition of Money, we have featured three of the finalists.
The lack of sustainable commercial agriculture activities despite huge potential encouraged Kumud Singh to come up with ‘Alpine Coffee Estate’ in Nuwakot. “After completing MBA, I started exploring potential sectors in Nepal and found coffee production feasible,” said Singh, adding his thought finally paid off with his company successfully catering to the demand in the local as well as international markets.
Within a short period, the company has become successful in generating employment, empowering women and has also worked in the areas of poverty alleviation, sustainable agriculture and environment conservation.
According to Singh, the venture is sustaining on income generated from sales of 100 percent home grown coffee beans in local as well as international markets and by encouraging and educating locals on efficient and effective farming methods and sustainability of organic coffee. “Since it takes some time to get outcome, we are also using our personal finances to sustain the venture,” Singh said.
“I was poor with minimal education. When I fell sick, nobody was ready to extend loan to me for my treatment. Then I realised the need for some life-skills. So I opened this venture utilising local resources from the forest,” says Jasmaya Pun who has been successfully running a venture named Hampaal Allo Tatha Kapada Bunai Udhyog. Apart from making good money, this venture, according to Pun, has also addressed problems related to unemployment and wastage of materials in nearby community forest, private forest and land.
The company has employed 60 women in eight Allo sewing and processing factories in Dhaulagiri Zone. “Initially it was difficult for me. But soon after I started making some money, there were many women wanting to work with me,” she said.
Amrit Ratna Shakya
Differently abled Amrit Ratna Shakya opened a venture named AR Fashion Design & Sewing Institute to fight the stigma and discrimination from the society towards a person like him.
The venture, which was started two decades ago, now provides training to over 500 persons annually and around 25-30 percent of the trainees open their own enterprises. “When I initiated this venture, the way society treated differently abled people was different,” Shakya said. “Many differently abled people are now following this model which has helped them earn and also set an example in the society,” he said, adding it has also helped change the attitude of the society towards a differently abled person.
The venture is sustaining on fees collected from trainees. “Being an enterprise in a much sought after field, the filtration rate of applicants is very high,” Shakya said.