Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)

Women congregate at a road section before dispersing in the settlements to sell vegetable
Indra Man Tamang and his wife Kunti Mayana Tamang at their strawberry farm in Kakani, Nuwakot. MEDEP has pioneered a model that supports the rural poor, women, youth and people from marginalised groups to create and run micro-enterprises. The government is adopting this model for its micro-enterprise support programmes.

Over eighty percent of Nepal's population lives in rural areas. The lack of income-earning opportunities in these areas is a central cause of the widespread poverty and unemployment in the country. It forces over half a million youths to leave home country to seek work in India, gulf and East Asian countries. The sustainable development of Nepal's villages depends on generating many new local jobs through the development of local resources based small businesses to meet the job requirements for ever growing number of young job seekers, higher consumption propelled by remittance and country's soaring trade deficit...Read More

What have we accomplished so far

  • By 2014, MEDEP has created 70,899 micro-entrepreneurs (68% women, 23% Dalits, 36% Indigenous Nationalities, Madhesi 19% and Youth 55%). The programme has so far created 86,613 employment opportunities benefitting Women (74%), Dalits (26%), Indigenous Nationalities (39%), Youth (54%) and Madheshi (19%).

  • In 2014, MEDEP continued to support the Government of Nepal to implement its Micro-Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) programme in 55 districts, creating more than 6,600 micro entrepreneurs with the resources of Nrs. 126 million (USD 1.3 million) from the government treasury. MEDEP’s direct intervention created an additional 4,700 micro entrepreneurs in the same year. Over 70 percent of these new micro entrepreneurs are women, 25 percent are Dalits and 43 percent are from indigenous nationalities.

  • A further 11,700 micro-entrepreneurs received support to expand or revive their enterprises, including in labeling, packaging, exposure visits, and market linkages. As a result of hiring by micro-entrepreneurs, a total of 16,000 jobs were created.

  • To facilitate easier access to finance for micro entrepreneurs, a total of 48 cooperatives of micro entrepreneurs were established and seven partnership agreements between banking and financial institutions and the Ministry of Industry brokered, benefitting over 8,000 with access to financial services.

  • UNDP’s success in riverbed farming and consistent advocacy, in collaboration with other organizations, has led to a draft Riverbed Farming Policy. Once approved, now wasted lands will be available for the poor for farming.

  • In 2014, Kesha Pariyar won Norway’s prestigious global Business for Peace award for her leadership in promoting micro-enterprises. She is among the 70,000 micro-entrepreneurs who received support from the MEDEP programme.


  • Santa Bahadur Bogati (third from the left) smiles along with his fellow community members as he resumes his leather making business after the April 25 earthquake

    A bag of hope after the Earthquake

    Santa Bahadur Bogati of Sindhukot- 4, Sindhupalchok, one of the micro entrepreneurs badly affected by the April 25 earthquake is already back in his business. Hemore

  • Voices of Women from the Nepal Earthquake

    “Life is not the same,” says Sudha Adhikari, 22, as she stands in front of the temporary shelter made of plastic sheets. On April 25th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, leaving a trail of death and destruction across large swathes of the Himalayan nation. Since then Sudha has taken shelter on a hillside along with her parents and her four-month-old baby. Her husband left two months ago for a job in Qatar.more

Project Overview


Project duration:
Phase 1: 1998 to 2003
Phase 2: 2004 to March 2008
Phase 3: March 2008 to July 2013
Phase 4: August 2013 to July 2018

Geographic coverage:
Phase 1: 11 districts
Phase 2: 25 districts
Phase 3: 38 districts
Phase 4: 38 districts

Focus area:
Poverty Reduction

UNDP focal point:
Ms. Nabina Shrestha
Poverty and Inclusion Unit
UN House, Pulchowk
P.O.Box 107 Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 977-1- 552 3200
Fax: 977-1-552 3991
Email: registry.np@undp.org.np

Project focal point:
Dr. Ramji Prasad Neupane
National Programme Manager
Dhobighat, Lalitpur
P.O. Box 107 Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 977-1-5541949, 5541951
Fax: 977-1-5541950
Email: info@medep.org.np

Implementing Agency:
Ministry of Industry

Government Implementing Partners:
Ministry of Federal Affairsl and Local Development, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conversation, Ministry of Agriculture Development, District Development Committee (DDC), Cottage and Small Industries Development Board (CSIDB), National Federation of Micro Entrepreneurs Nepal (NMEFEN), District Cottage and Small Industries Office (DCSIO), District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Industrial Enterprise Development Institute (IEDI), District Federations of Indigenous Nationalities, Dalits Organizations, relevant line agencies such as District Forest Office (DFO), District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), District Livestock Service Office (DLSO), Women Development Office, Business Development Service Providing Organisation (BDSPO), MFI partners – district-wise.

Private sector and civil society implementing partners:
Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Nepalese Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) and private business houses.

Development Partners:
Australian Aid

Project website: