Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)

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.

Eighty-three 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 worsening food security in the country. It also forces ever more Nepalis to leave home to seek work in Nepal's towns and cities, in India and further afield. The sustainable development of Nepal's villages depends on generating many new local jobs, especially for the rapidly growing number of young job seekers. The Government's Three-Year Interim Plan (2010-2013) aimed at providing entrepreneurship development training to more than 56,000 due to its importance in removing a major grievance that fuelled the conflict...Read More

What have we accomplished so far

  • In 2014, with funding from the Australian Government, the Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) continues to support the Government of Nepal to implement its Micro-Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) project in 50 districts, creating more than 6,600 micro entrepreneurs, while UNDP’s direct intervention created an additional 4,700 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.

  • Advocacy for pro-poor policies and recognition n UNDP’s continuous lobbying has resulted in micro-enterprise becoming a part of the industrial policy framework in Nepal, leading to 35 percent exemption for women in registration fees and a special fund for women.

  • 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.

  • To facilitate easier access to finance for micro entrepreneurs, UNDP brokered seven partnership agreements between banking and financial institutions and the Ministry of Industry.

  • 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 UNDP.


  • Senator and Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Minister of Australia Brett Mason inaugurating Micro Enterprise Exhibition of entrepreneurs funded by Australian Government and Promoted by Government of Nepal and UNDP. Also seen in the background is UN Resident Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick. Photo: Indra Dhoj Kshetri/MEDEP

    Australian Senator Mason inaugurates Micro Entrepreneurs' Fare

    The Head of Australian Delegation to SAARC Summit Senator Brett Mason inaugurated a Micro Entrepreneurs' Products exhibition in Kathmandu on Thursday. The expo organized by Nationalmore

  • Tilkumari Khadka at work in her tailoring shop in Khalanga, Pyuthan. She now also leads the Pyuthan District Micro Entrepreneurs Groups Association (DMEGA), which has about 2,000 micro entrepreneurs as members. Photo:MEDEP/UNDP Nepal

    Tilkumari's tailor made success story

      PYUTHAN - It has been just six years since Tilkumari Khadka of Khalanga, Pyuthan started her tailoring enterprise with the help of Micro Enterprise Developmentmore

  • An entrepreneur working at his riverbed farm on the bank of Kamala River in Siraha. Photo: MEDEP

    From dust bowls to lush green fields

    Nepal's vast riverbeds, especially in the Terai area, remain submerged in muddy waters during the rainy season, and dry and desolate for the rest of themore

  • Honoring Oslo Business for Peace 2014 Honoree Ms. Kesha Pariyar: Minister of Industry Karna Bahadur Thapa hands over a certificate of appreciation to Ms. Kesha Pariyar, while Secretary of Industry Mr. Krishna Gyawali looks on.

    Business for Peace Honouree Kesha Pariyar felicitated

    Ms. Kesha Pariyar (Kesha Kumari Damini), the recipient of globally prestigious Business for Peace Awards was honoured amidst a special programme organized by Ministry of Industrymore

  • Members of 'Dobanha Laghu Uddhyami Samuha' micro-enterprise at Damak municipality of Jhapa district weaving their traditional dress known as 'petani'. Photo taken by Tapa Dipti Sitaula / UNDP Nepal

    Entrepreneurship supports livelihood, preserves tradition

    Keeping alive old tradition sometimes requires embracing new technology. This has been true for a group of Dhimal women in Jhapa who have been able tomore

  • Enterprise Development Facilitators working with entrepreneurs to complete a seasonal calendar of natural hazards

    Disaster proofing micro-enterprise

    When we talk about disaster risk management we so rarely talk about how to help safeguard small businesses from the impacts of disaster Charikot, 21 Junemore

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: