The Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs’ Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) in collaboration with the Enterprise for Management, Economic Reform and Gender Equality Pvt.Ltd. (EMERGE); the USAID, through the KISAN II Project; Uniterra, a WUSC and CECI Program funded by Global Affairs Canada; and the European Union, conducted a one-day symposium entitled Championing Women Entrepreneurship in Nepal at Hotel Radisson, Kathmandu. This symposium took place on the heels of the successful 4th International Women’s Trade Expo, which took place the previous five days at Heritage Garden, Sanepa.
During the inauguration session, FWEAN's President, Ms. Sharada Rijal gave the welcoming remarks while highlighting the necessity for the government to provide space for a model village based on women entrepreneurship.
The objective of the symposium was explained by Dr. Mona Shrestha Adhikari, Executive Director of EMERGE. The purpose of the symposium was to share information and discuss on women entrepreneurship in Nepal. Topics of symposium included Policy Environment in Advancing Women Entrepreneurs; Financial Sector and its Schemes for Women Entrepreneurs; Up-scaling Support towards Women Entrepreneurs; and Building on the Experience of Women Entrepreneurs across Generations. The breadth of honoured guests and delegates at the symposium provided a unique perspective on women entrepreneurship because of the different lenses through which they viewed this emerging and powerful sector.
She emphasized that “organizers aimed to have rich deliberations and fruitful outcomes in leveraging women entrepreneurship and establishing an inclusive, innovative and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal.”
The special guest was Mr. Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Supplies. Mr. Adhikari discussed how a budget has been created for the local government to establish a model village. He also addressed the current situation of women entrepreneurship in Nepal, as well as the current overall conditions of Nepal's imports and exports.
The keynote address was presented by Ms. Zane Petre, the Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Nepal. She highlighted the importance of gender equality for Nepal and for the prosperity of all democratic societies, and how important it is to work for these objectives.
The chief guest was the Hon’ble Minister Ms. Tham Maya Thapa, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens. She focused on "Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali". She promised that rules, regulations and policies will be made to support women entrepreneurship in Nepal. Additionally, she discussed the importance of manufacturing products for the Nepali people. In conclusion, she assured the participants that the discussions of the symposium when submitted by FWEAN would be presented to the appropriate people in the government.
The Guest of Honour was the Hon’ble Commissioner Ms. Yasodha Devi Timsina, National Information Commission. She urged all women to ask for detailed entrepreneurial information from the Government of Nepal.The event was facilitated by Ms. Darshana Shrestha, General Secretary of FWEAN.The inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks from the 1st Vice President of FWEAN, Ms. Reeta Simha.