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

In 2015, the focus of MEDEP was to ensure a full Government ownership of this poverty-reduction vehicle and to further strengthen micro enterprise associations’ ability to deliver business development services for their members. Despite the challenges resulting from the earthquake and the significant loss to the gains MEDEP had made in the previous years, several milestones were reached in 2015.

14,200 new micro entrepreneurs were created, thus helping to alleviate their poverty conditions, exceeding the project target of 10,000. Till date, MEDEP has created 76,322 microenterprises and contributed to the creation of over 90,000 jobs for the rural poor and socially excluded groups.


  • 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: