Products of Nepalese entrepreneurs find international market
The entrepreneurs supported by UNDP Micro-enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) organised a small scale exhibition at the Australian Embassy, coinciding with the visit of Richard Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs. On behalf of the Government of Nepal, Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel, was present on the occasion to interact with and observe the products of the micro-entrepreneurs.
The Micro-enterprise Programme started in 1998 in the ultra poor and socially marginalized communities of Nepal especially targeting the under-privileged rural women. As of today, the programme has helped 53,000 entrepreneurs enhance their careers and 70% of them are women. About 80 per cent of the enterprises started under the project continue to do business today.
In early 2012, UNDP/MEDEP and AusAID renewed partnership (AUD 3.1 m) to directly benefit 5500 entrepreneurs and create 8000 new jobs. This additional fund is expected to further support forest and agro based green enterprises and improve the skills of entrepreneurs.
The success of MEDEP has led the Government to allocate substantial funding (NRs. 120 million in 2011-2012) to the local Government bodies to implement MEDEP model in 45 districts under its new Micro-enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation Scheme.
AusAID's program in Nepal is supporting services in basic education and health, rural livelihoods and governance reform. During his visit, Richard Marles stated, “I am very pleased to learn that more than 53,000 people have become micro-entrepreneurs. The rural communities have been provided training on setting up their own businesses and marketing skills. Most importantly the locally available natural raw materials have been utilized to produce a variety of products and some of them have found a good place in the international market. This is exemplary and an extraordinary effort towards reducing poverty in Nepal.”