President, National Innovation Center
The concept of startup is relatively new in Nepal. It has not been long since the concept was developed. Startup and entrepreneurship are necessary to develop the economy of the country. However, entrepreneurship has not developed in the country as there is a lack of entrepreneurship culture. Nepal needs to develop a culture of entrepreneurship, but there has never been such a thing in Nepal in history. Except for a few percent of the population, that culture does not exist. Nevertheless, we have now slowly realised the need of startup and entrepreneurship. It is a good thing that it has started but we are late. This kind of environment should have started in our grandfathers’ time. But, it’s better late than never.
Startup is an attempt to start an enterprise. But the government has not understood such a thing yet. In order to develop entrepreneurship, the government representatives need to study about startups and entrepreneurship. Those who lead the society without the entrepreneurial culture do not understand startup business. Further, they cannot bring a corresponding policy and implement it as well. So it is time that they study this issue now.
We often blame the government but the fault lies with the society because we could not establish the entrepreneurship culture. Society should now understand that and promote such culture. Till date, Nepali parents do not support their children to become entrepreneurs. When parents and society do not support innovation, the idea of young people to become entrepreneurs is suppressed and they are forced to work for others. Even the universities in the country do not have a system to support ideas of such innovative students. Since there is no entrepreneurship culture, there is a lack of employment opportunities which eventually leads youths of the country to go abroad. And we need to know that startup entrepreneurs create more employment opportunities and hold the youths in the country.
The National Innovation Center is made to address such issues. We support new ideas and help them create their ideas and innovation into reality. If you have ideas and wish to become an entrepreneur, we will help raise the capital, search investors, and help provide tools, mentorship and space to implement that idea and get intellectual property right. The only thing you should do is work hard.
Until we do so, the country's talents cannot develop. Eventually, the country will move towards development. Youths are the fundamentals for the development of the country so we have to encourage them and prevent them seek greener pastures abroad.
There is another thing that I do not find in the entrepreneurs and businesses of the country. Before starting a startup, there is no culture of doing research on that idea and studying whether the idea is commercially viable or not.
This is an experiment. Instead of not doing anything, we have to try once even if it fails or becomes a success.
(Views expressed during an interactive training of NewBiz Startup Summit and Awards 2021)