Experts Say: Women Entrepreneurs Play a Key Role in Driving the Economy

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Experts Say: Women Entrepreneurs Play a Key Role in Driving the Economy

Government officials have said that the role of women entrepreneurs is important to keep the country's economy afloat. Speaking at the 'Standard Chartered NewBiz Business Women Summit and Awards 2023' organised by New Business Age in Kathmandu on July 7, Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said that women who have been handling the economy of the house are now going to be in a position of running the economy of the country.

He emphasised that women should take the lead in the future to stabilise the enterprises. Stating that there is no capital limit in the information technology sector, he said women can take advantage of this as there is now a provision for starting a company even at Rs 100 as capital. He also thanked the organisers of the event for covering in the event women engaged in various fields of enterprise. “Women's empowerment has also been given priority in the government budget, and the government has announced a plan to create a women's industrial park at Panchkhal”, he added.

Also speaking on the occasion, Nepal Rastra Bank Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari said that the number of women entrepreneurs will increase significantly due to subsidised loans scheme. Under the scheme, banks and financial institutions provide collateral-free loans of up to Rs 1.5 million to women for doing business.

“Three years ago, only 25,000 people took this loan. Now, more than 83,000 have taken loans amounting to Rs 61 billion,” he said. Adhikari also said that entrepreneurs will play a major role in reducing the trade imbalance. "There is a good demand in the market for the products of women entrepreneurs," said Adhikari, "They can play a role in import substitution and export promotion by increasing production."

Citing the example of women in the leadership of large companies, he said that the participation of women in the modernisation and innovation of Nepal is also great. Stating that gender inclusion is increasing in the financial sector, Adhikari said NRB is conducting financial literacy programs to expedite the process. He added that the Ministry of Education was taking necessary initiatives to include financial literacy in the school curriculum. Stating that gender imbalance has improved by 4% worldwide, Adhiakri said it should be gradually reduced in Nepal as well. 

Also speaking on the occasion, Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Limited, said that modern Nepali women are a source of power. Saying that his bank aims to support the youth and small businesses in the community, he expressed happiness that women are active in bringing about meaningful changes in the professional system.

"Modern Nepali women are powerhouses, who are leaving their mark in all fields of politics, fashion, business, science, sports, art," Dastidar said, adding: "What we believe in, at Standard Chartered, is to support the youth and small businesses in our community. It is an important step towards increasing participation in our market and promoting financial inclusion, which will bring meaningful change.” Dastidar also said that he was very proud to meet so many talented women entrepreneurs working to bring meaningful changes in the business system together under one roof.

On her welcome speech, Sabita Subedi, director of New Business Age Pvt. Ltd., said that the main objective of the program was to encourage women entrepreneurs. She added that the state must create a favourable environment for women entrepreneurs to increase their contribution to the country's economy. 

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