Group leader: Sakshyat Khadka (Yale-NUS)
Team members: Swochchhanda Pandey (Exec. Director), Sujhan Ghimire (Marketing), Shashwat Guragain (R&D), Roshan Raj Adhikari (IT), Raunak Sharma (Operations & Events).
Sambridha Nari project is a financial literacy campaign for entrepreneurs, small business owners and future entrepreneurs who are primarily women. The project ran in 3 different communities in parts of Eastern Nepal, spanning across a timeline of 1 month. Through this project, the team aimed to tackle two primary social challenges: the lack of information and background on how to run and grow a business in these communities and the lack of an inclusive environment for women to run and operate businesses. The program was led by Atharva Initiations and they partnered with banks and local microfinances.
The primary aim for the project was to inspire and facilitate more women to start and run businesses in local communities of Nepal. For entrepreneurs who were already running successful businesses, we wanted to give them information and support so that their businesses have a higher propensity to succeed. Through the training, we also aimed to give the entrepreneurs a chain of networks and relationships with us and our partners so that they could ask for advice in the future, take cheaper loans and get better access to digital finance options.
Our program had very positive and visible impacts on the communities, which made the team ecstatic. This is mainly because of how enthusiastic our entrepreneurs were and how actively they were translating our teachings into their business strategies. Over the week or so that we spent with each community, we could see a gradual increase in business confidence in all of our participants. In a more tangible sense, we are now seeing a lot of these women (running both individual businesses and cooperatives) reaching out to us and our local partners for support. Within the next few months, we will receive data on how many new people are using digital financing, how many entrepreneurs are seeking on loans and the rate on loan defaultation. This will give us tangible data on our performances in this project.
The SIF supported my work by providing both financial help as well as strategy help. The strategy part was extremely useful: because of the way I had to phrase my proposal for the application/ budgeting, I got a better sense of the project and gaps that I needed to address.
Financially, the grant given by the SIF helped me reach areas that I could not have reached before because of financial constraints. The farther away Eastern regions became accessible because of the help of the Social Impact Fellowship. This meant that our work reached new communities, helped build better relationships for us and allowed us to get data on new places.
Plan everything thoroughly and utilize the budget from the SIF along with other donors/ investors very carefully. There are many limits that we could cross, as social entrepreneurs/ project leads, with the help of this grant. Getting out of our traditional work, areas etc. can help us leap into newer areas and work with more communities.
Contact: Sakshyat Khadka (E: email@example.com,M: +65 9038 2701)