May 13: The project “Fostering Resilience of Women-Led Businesses (including home-based women producers) and Consumers,” launched with the objective of building a resilient business of both formal and informal producers and to spread Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) awareness to the customers/buyers concluded on Wednesday (May 11).
The project was jointly launched by Thulo Pasal (Thulo.com) and Enterprise for Management, Economic Reform, and Gender Equality (EMERGE) with the support from the USAID’s Tayar Nepal - Improved Disaster Risk Management Project under their campaign ‘Udhyami Utthan’.
Thulo.com and EMERGE conducted a hybrid closing workshop on Wednesday to share the outcomes and announce the closure of the project.
The programme included participants from women businesses, representatives from ministries, local government, banks, insurance, tech companies, development agencies, private sector organisations and media.
CEO of EMERGE Dr Mona Shrestha Adhikari said that the project provided a training program on building resilient businesses, connected beneficiaries to e-commerce platforms through thulo.com, and facilitated access to finance and risk financing for business continuity/expansion. The project also made businesses and consumers aware of Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) through a dedicated web page and a downloadable mobile application on both Android and iOS
In the opening remarks, Tammie Harris, chief of party of USAID-Tayar Nepal said that the partnership with thulo.com and EMERGE to implement this grant had been wonderful. “It has brought our private sector interest, innovative approach, and GESI approach into one exciting, successful package,” he said.
In his special remarks, under secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Durga Prasad Bhusal expressed his surprise that achieving such exceptional outcomes in just ten months is incredible. He also admired the effort of thulo.com and EMERGE for empowering and enabling the women entrepreneurs by helping them upscale and guiding them towards resilient entrepreneurship. “This project is an example for all of us looking forward to digital transformation in ecommerce,” he added.
Sharing the outcome of the training programme ‘Building Resilient Businesses’, programme director of EMERGE Aleena Udas said that the training sessions have helped participants’ upskill themselves in Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM), Occupational Health and Safety, business management, marketing, promotion, sales, and the tools and techniques to transition towards e-commerce.
COO of thulo.com, Surakchya Adhikari mentioned how this project has helped bridge the digital gap by connecting 48 women producers/entrepreneurs to thulo.com, promote their disaster preparedness products through various promotional activities, and emphasize their identity by featuring their stories and selling more than 3,000 products. Likewise, CEO of thulo.com Raja Ram Nepal explained about the recently launched mobile application ‘Ma Ta Chhu Tayar’ that focuses on managing disaster risk and is targeted to businesses.
Shanti Nakarmi, owner of Peace Tailoring and Oliin Rai, business manager of Higher Ground Nepal, the two project beneficiaries, also shared their experience.
Kiran Kuman Shrestha, CEO, Rastriya Banijya Bank and Aadar Bhandari from United Insurance expressed their commitment to support women businesses for access to finance and risk financing. They hope to keep up with long-term collaboration to support entrepreneurs in running sustainable businesses.
Towards the end of the workshop, Walter Weaver, vice president for Asia Region of DAI, in his observational remark, shared that the challenges unfolded by the Covid-19 pandemic created a demand for new innovative solutions like bridging the digital gap and enhancing the business through e-commerce.
Similarly, Dr. Manju Thapa Tuladhar, GESI advisor to the USAID Nepal, said that USAID is interested in designing such projects that support women-led businesses and added that it is commendable of the project to bring in social inclusion while doing business, which is usually difficult to achieve.