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Apr 4, 2017

Database of organizations/programs/projects that support entrepreneurship in Nepal

Thank you, my dear readers, for liking my last post on 30 cheap business ideas. The response was more than I had hoped for. In this post, I am presenting you the list of organization, programs, projects and initiatives that are supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Nepal. I have noticed that many people were looking for a comprehensive list of organizations and initiatives supporting entrepreneurship in Nepal but no such public list exists. Therefore, I have decided to create this list.

If you know of any such organization or initiative please feel free to mention them in the comments below:

A. Groups/Interaction Programs

1. Entrepreneurs for Nepal

Entrepreneurs for Nepal is a loose network of thousands of entrepreneurs in Nepal. It was co-founded by Ujwal Thapa, Ashutosh Tiwari, Sagar Onta, and Jaya Budhathoki in 2008.

It organizes a monthly interaction program called Last Thursdays with an Entrepreneur and runs a very vibrant group on Facebook. Entrepreneurs help each other out in the group by providing information and contacts.

2. Last Thursdays with an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs for Nepal, Samriddhi Foundation, and Biruwa Ventures used to conduct a monthly interaction program with a successful entrepreneur. Known as Last Thursdays with an Entrepreneur, the program used to draw a crowd of dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs and youth as well as well-established entrepreneurs. A successful entrepreneur shared about his/her entrepreneurial journey and answered the questions of the participants. You can find the briefs of past events here, and here.

Last Thursdays with an Entrepreneur is also being conducted in Biratnagar by Bikalpa - An Alternative.

3. Startups Nepal
Startups Nepal is the startup community of Nepal. It conducts entrepreneurship boot camps and various other activities related to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

4. Nepal Entrepreneur's Hub
Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub is dedicated to nurture entrepreneurship, support startup communities, contribute towards a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and facilitate investment in budding, small and medium enterprises. It is the organizer of Startup Weekend in Nepal and several other programs focused on startups.

B. Incubators

1. Yunus Social Business Center at King's College
Yunus Social Business Center at King's College supports ventures between idea stage to 1.5 years of operation. It provides 17 weeks of training before matching the startups with the potential investors.

2. Kathmandu University Business Incubation Center
Kathmandu University Business Incubation Center provides training programs on entrepreneurship and helps individuals develop specific skills to become potential entrepreneurs.

3. Idea Studio
Idea Studio provides training and funding to new innovative ideas and early stage enterprises. It also runs a reality TV show where people with innovative ideas can pitch for investment.

4. Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal
Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal has a couple of programs that helps early staged technology startups with all right resources, software, support & marketing visibility like BizSpark, WebsiteSpark, and StartupWeekend. If you are approaching this opportunity, make sure that your startup is primarily technology based.

5. Himalayan Climate Initiative
Himalayan Climate Initiative has a Social Innovation and Business Incubation Hub in four locations across the country and incubates social enterprises.

6. Nepal Social Business
Nepal Social Business is a joint initiative of Chaudhary Group and Lions Club International. It is working to incubate 5,000 social businesses in Jumla.

7. Nepal Engineers Association Business Incubation Center
Nepal Engineers Association has also been running an incubation center for engineering related startups at its central office in Pulchowk. Currently, it is incubating four companies.

8. Nepal Agribusiness Incubation Center (NABIC)
NABIC is Nepal’s first agri-focused business incubator and innovation platform. They provide holistic services to support and enhance innovation, growth and competitiveness of agribusinesses.

9. I-Cube Business Incubation ProgramI-Cube Business Incubation Program is a holistic business incubation program designed to support Nepali businesses to build a strong foundation for growth and success. It is operated by Nepal Communitere.

C. Accelerators

1. Rockstart Impact
Rockstart is one of the top accelerators of Europe. It was launched in Nepal as Rockstart Impact in 2014 by One to Watch. If your company has already developed a minimal viable product (MVP) and provides innovative solutions for the demanding sectors such as food & agriculture, health-care, and energy, you can apply for their program. Rockstart Impact provides 100 days of training and mentoring to the selected companies and connects them to the potential investors at the end of their program. It has already accelerated 20 companies out which 16 have received investment pledges. The investments range between 100 thousand to 500 thousand Euros.

2. Enterprise (Nepal Business Accelerator Program) 
Enterprise is run by a Nepali company called True North Associates. It seeks to mentor newly set up Nepalese companies to build better products, raise funds, and move to the next level of business growth.Companies that are at least two years old and have a good track record of growth can apply for this accelerator. If selected, the companies are provided 12 weeks of intensive training and made ready for investment. At the end, the companies are connected to the potential investors.

3. Women Rural Enterprises Accelerator Program
The program is run by Daayitwa and provides support to women-run enterprises in rural Nepal. It is currently focused in Palpa.

4. NEXT Venture Corp
Next Venture Corp runs NEXT Launchpad, a mentorship-driven accelerator program where early stage startups take their business to the next level. The company also carries out short courses and other activities related to entrepreneurship.

5. Slush Global Impact Accelerator
Slush Global Impact Accelerator was created by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in collaboration with multiple partners globally. In Nepal, it is run by Young Innovations Pvt. Ltd. Selected entrepreneurs from Nepal are given an opportunity to present their ideas int the global program.

D. Seed Funds

1. Antarprerana
Co-founded by Niraj Khanal and Om Rajbhandari in 2016, Antarprerana provides seed funds to promising entrepreneurs to start their ventures. It also provides various other support programs to harness their skills and capacities. It aims to support 100 entrepreneurs by 2025.

2. WDAC Impact Investment Fund
Women Development Advocacy Center based in Janakpur operates an Impact Investment Fund that targets small and medium enterprises run by women in the rural region.

3. Youth Self-Employment Fund
 Youth Self-Employment Fund was created in 2008 by the Government of Nepal during the tenure of Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. The Fund provides a loan of up to NRs.2,00,000 to youth seeking to start their own enterprises. The loan is administered through local cooperatives and is provided to businesses such as commercial farming, livestock farming, traditional knowledge-based enterprises, homestays etc.

E. Think Tanks/ Policy Advocates

1. Samriddhi Foundation
Established in 2006 with the vision of a free and prosperous Nepal, Samriddhi Foundation conducts undertakes research & publication, education & training, and public advocacy and outreach to create a better business and investment environment in Nepal. They have publications on various issues related to entrepreneurship including ground realities of doing business in Nepalforeign direct investment, contract enforcement, and company exit.

2. Nepal Prosperity Institute
Established in 2017, Nepal Prosperity Institute also works for a more prosperous Nepal by contributing to the areas of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and economic reform.

F. Education/Courses

1. King's College
King's College not only has an MBA program on entrepreneurship but also various programs and activities surrounding entrepreneurship. The college has developed itself as a very happening place for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. If you are looking for an academic degree or short-term executive courses, King's college is the right place!

2. Nepal School of Entrepreneurship
Nepal School of Entrepreneurship is a business and design school for leadership and entrepreneurship, which aims to provide best entrepreneurial education. It has partnered with Kaospilot of Denmark for the approach of learning and teaching. It operates short term courses useful for entrepreneurs.

G. Training/Advice

1. Biruwa Ventures
Biruwa Ventures is a well-known name in the field of entrepreneurship in Nepal. It provides consulting services to early stage ventures and also provides office sharing services.

2. Institute for Suitable Actions for Prosperity (ISAP)
Institute for Suitable Actions for Prosperity has various programs supporting entrepreneurs, especially agro-entrepreneurs. Its Udhyami Fellowship provides technical and managerial training to agricultural entrepreneurs.

3. Industrial Enterprise Development Institute
The Industrial Enterprise Development Institute is a national resource organization committed to entrepreneurship development through training, research, consultancy and enterprise education. It is mainly focused on providing business related trainings.

H. Projects

1. Samarth - Nepal Market Development Programme
Samarth-NMDP is a UKAid funded project that supports smallholder farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs. If your enterprise is critical in changing the function and behavior of the market players in your sector, you are likely to get the support from Samarth. Samarth provides support to dairies, fisheries, ginger farming, pig farming, tourism and vegetable farming.

2. High Mountain Agribusiness and Livelihood Improvement (HIMALI)
HIMALI project is being run by the Government of Nepal with the support from Asian Development Bank. It works for "value chain development of their agricultural, livestock and NTF products and improves the rural household livelihoods in high mountain districts of Nepal". It supports agricultural enterprises in the following districts: Dolakha, Dolpa, Hulma, Jumla, Manang, Mugu, Mustang, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha, and Solukhumbu.

3. Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA, formerly MEDEP)
Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) is run by the Government of Nepal with the support from United Nations Development Programme and Australian Aid. It helps low-income families become entrepreneurs by providing training and financial support. It also helps in the promotion of small scale enterprises.

4. Employment Fund (HELVETAS)
Employment Fund is funded by Swiss Development Corporation and UKAid and operated by HELVETAS. It provides market-oriented skills training for economically very poor and socially discriminated youths. It also helps those youth start their own enterprises.

I. Private Equity

1. One to Watch
One to Watch is a Dutch equity fund. It invests in ventures/companies that have the potential to make a social impact along with making a profit. They usually invest more than 100,000 Euros in a venture. One to Watch funds and operates Rockstart but they also make direct investments.

2. Dolma Impact Fund
Dolma Impact Fund is "the first international private equity and impact fund dedicated to Nepal". It provides capital and expertise to growth companies in Nepal.

3. Business Oxygen
Business Oxygen  is Nepal's first private equity fund and is a part of International Finance Corporation's SME Ventures initiative. It helps entrepreneurs running Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale up their operations by providing capital and technical assistance.

4. True North Associates
True North Associates is the company behind Enterprise - Nepal Business Accelerator Program. It injects capital into businesses with growth potential.

J. Media

1. Bizmandu
Bizmandu is one of the most popular economic news portals of Nepal. It regularly features stories of successful or innovative entrepreneurs and enterprises.

2. GlocalKhabar
Glocalkhabar regularly features start-ups. Although its reach may not be as much as that of Bizmandu, Glocalkhabar provides the platform to companies even at their early stages.

3. Business 360
Business 360 is Nepal's leading business magazine. It features stories of all levels of businesses, from startups to multinationals.

4. Youthsera
Youthsera features inspirational stories of innovative startups of Nepal and abroad. It has already featured over 300 articles related to startups.