Women Entrepreneurship in Nepal
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. One of the reasons behind this is the lack of proper entrepreneurship development in the country. Lack of capital, infrastructure, institutional support, skill and knowledge, entrepreneurial culture, etc. are some of the hindrances of entrepreneurship development in Nepal. The condition of women entrepreneurship is rather more miserable and still is in the infant stage. Women entrepreneurship may be vital for the overall social and economic development of the country.
Advocating women in business is not a feminist approach. Women with professional backgrounds in business and management can provide service to the family and the entire society. Women entrepreneurship is about progress and equality.
The following are some of the issues of women’s entrepreneurship in Nepal.
1. Waiting for opportunity:
Women entrepreneurship in Nepal has developed a lot but they still have a long way to go. Women entrepreneurs are still waiting for an opportunity where they will get a chance of working as freely as their male counterparts.
2. Poor attitude of the society:
In Nepal, women still face many problems from their very commencement of the enterprise. The society or family still does not believe in their capacity. Hence, the family is reluctant to invest capital in the business run by women due to a lack of confidence in the women’s ability to run a venture successfully.
3. Better in Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs):
Women in Nepal are doing very good especially in the Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) field. Currently, women own about 14,300 small and medium enterprises in Nepal. It accounts for 2 percent of GDP (registered formal sector) and employing over 200,000 workers. A study commissioned by International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, suggests that meeting their current credit requirements of US$ 106 million can increase the contribution of women to the Nepalese economy.
4. Male dominance:
The business was men’s domain even a few decades ago in Nepal. Entrepreneurship was a male preserve and the idea of women taking up entrepreneurial activities was considered a distant dream. However, the situation is changing over the years.
5. Attitude of society:
Business and entrepreneurship need innovation and risk. But, is society positive to allow women entrepreneurship to take such risks? The answer is not entirely positive.
6. Poor family support:
Parents still want their daughters involved in jobs rather than in business. The reason that ‘they care about their daughters’, but also they do their daughters to venture into the business world which their finances at risk. The time has come when every family should allow their daughters to take risks and enter into the entrepreneurial world.
7. Institutional support:
There are many organizations, which provide institutional support to women entrepreneurs. Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) is a non-profit organization aiming at promoting women entrepreneurs in the economic progress of the nation and decision-making at national and international levels. FWEAN is a focal point for interaction not only with the government but also with the various national and international women’s organizations.