Shyam Badan Shrestha Conferred Lifetime Achievement in Women Entrepreneurship Award

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Shyam Badan Shrestha Conferred Lifetime Achievement in Women Entrepreneurship Award

KATHMANDU: Shyam Badan Shrestha, who was conferred the Lifetime Achievement in Women Entrepreneurship Award during the NewBiz Business Women Summit and Awards 2024 on Friday, is an established name in the Nepali handicraft industry. She started handicraft production with her mother at the age of eight.

Having lost her father before she was born, Shrestha learned to fight from an early age. Despite having no money to install electricity in their home, she would wake up at 2 am to make various handicraft products with her mother using oil lamps. This perseverance allowed her to pay for her schooling expenses. She used her experiences of struggle as a springboard to success, eventually completing her master's degree in Nepali Language and Literature from Tribhuvan University.

After spending 13 years in the teaching profession, Shrestha founded Nepal Knotcraft Center with an investment of Rs 200 around 40 years ago, intending to financially empower other women like her. The awards citation handed to her during the ceremony described her as a beacon of perseverance, resilience, and innovation, inspiring generations of women entrepreneurs.

Shrestha has given hope to many, showing that even a business with a small investment can bring future success. Her business, which now employs 300 women, has an annual turnover of up to Rs 10 million.

In the early days of her entrepreneurship, she produced handicrafts from raw materials found in the Kathmandu Valley. Later, she visited about 65 districts to research indigenous raw materials in Nepal. She identified 45 types of fibrous plants, including allo, cardamom, corn husk, bamboo, straw, cane, and nigalo which could be used for producing handicraft products.

Shrestha won the World Craft Council Award of Excellence for Handicraft in 2018 for producing handicraft materials made from fibrous plants. In the same year, she also won first prize in the SAARC Women Entrepreneurship Competition.

The goods produced by her industry, located in the Patan industrial area, are currently being exported to Europe, America, Japan, and other countries, and are also sold in the domestic market. She emphasizes the use of Nepali raw materials to protect endangered Nepali handicrafts.


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