The role of entrepreneurship in the economic growth of Nepal

This article can also be studied under "Entrepreneurial Economy and Society"

Entrepreneurs are businessmen but with a panache. They have verve to change the human society and nerve to venture the investment in quite riskier fashion. Entrepreneurs can be a person, institution or a government entity. For example, Dinanath Bhandari is an entrepreneur who established Bajeko Sekuwa in Sinamangal that ultimately expanded into chain restaurants in different parts of Nepal. Similarly, Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is an example of an institutional entrepreneur that rippled a new concept of money management for the employees working inside the country. Some cement factories and timber processing mills are the examples of government-led entrepreneurial units.

Nepal is a developing country with a per capita GDP of $1,116. About 25% of Nepalese population falls below the poverty line (1). The minimal industrialization and lack of adequate private entrepreneurship can be surmised to be the major setbacks in the economic growth of the country. So, the role of entrepreneur who can act as a manager, financier or a promoter in the process of industrialization cannot be overemphasized (2).

Unlimited Realms

Innovation is an ever emerging process. It is not time bound and is beyond limitation with respect to region and subject (realm). So, it is never late to kick start a novel business plan. And there are odds that every other person can be a successful entrepreneur. Since Nepal is a virgin territory in the aspect of business startups, people can look upon a plethora of areas for investment. For instance, Biswas Dhakal founded eSewa as the first online platform for monetary transactions. It proved to be a simpatico app as shown by the overwhelming number of people. So, some youth can start companies like Uber or Ola that help people for easy transportation in a private car instead of repeating the versions of Pathao or Tootle. From food to drinks and to the agro-products to homemade stuffs entrepreneurship is yet to be discovered in Nepal. The happy part is you just have to prod out the ideas and they could be started with very less money at first. If people start engaging themselves in completely new ideas of investment they create job opportunities for many youths waiting to fly Gulf nations for work. This will help improve per capita income and allow greater quality of life of people from diverse sectors. Wherever one wishes to embark on an endeavor, it should be noted that they should embrace technology-driven operationalization for transparency and rapid expansion.   

Emphasis on Agriculture and Tourism

If there is something that Nepal could present its unique identity then it is none other than agriculture or tourism. As said earlier, Nepal has myriads of possibilities for investment but agriculture and tourism are possibly the best among them. From the elementary level, we have been raised by making us listen ‘Nepal is an agricultural country.’ But sadly, there is derogation in agricultural fame due to demotivating factors like higher broker margins, whimsical migration of youths as workers, inadequate or cumbersome government subsidy and conversion of fertile land to concrete land plotting. If one invests on such concepts as to neutralize these factors then commercial farmland will be here to flourish. No brokers, direct door to door service as per order. We can also think of preserving and exporting Nepalese native seeds, grains and fruits for plantation, cross-breeding and future distribution through a channelized modus operandi. 

Geographical variation, biodiversity, ethnic multifariousness and kind hospitality and etiquette of Nepalese people are ornaments that have enriched tourism so far. We can encash such opportunities but only with proper plans of entrepreneurial touch. Chandra Dhakal, for example, of Chandragiri Hills can be considered an entrepreneur in tourism because he explored the scope of cable cars in the vicinity of Kathmandu valley that nobody did earlier.   

Scope for Wider Networks

To significantly contribute to the country entrepreneurs need to collaborate for a greater cause. For example, one can complement the other by providing a product if the other provides the services. Or, they can collaboratively expand by regions of interest. Let us suppose, one bank can go every nook and corner of Rukum while the other bank goes to Rolpa. That way they can penetrate the whole rurality more effectively than they went comitantly competing with each other. Moreover, in the long run Nepalese entrepreneurs can also think of global expansion of their business scope. One such example is CG Corp Global which has started production of its flagship merchandise Wai Wai in Serbia (3). This helps in bringing the foreign currency into the country.

Investor’s Reluctance

Due to long-running political instability and risk of invasion by political interest of the ruling party, Nepalese investors are quite reluctant to venture into a new enterprise. There is also a relative lack of semi-skilled and skilled manpower essential for such an establishment as they all tend to go abroad. This might be the reason that financiers continue to invest money in a more stylized manner that creates profits with lesser risks but fails to recreate dynamic human society. A handy example of this might be: established business families like Upendra Mahato and Binod Chaudhary are also streamlining their money in founding hospitals because it is assumed to be risk-proof and are implicitly lucrative. The moneybags could have created additional thousands of job opportunities if they chose to invest in a new industry. So, Nepal government should employ the policy of guarantee on leaving such undertaking untouched from political stake in order to promote entrepreneurship from the public level.

Therefore, there is an immense role of entrepreneurship in the economic growth of any country but the role gets only amplified when it comes to a country like Nepal whose one-fourth of population lies below the poverty line and per capita income is rather very low. Entrepreneurship increases the economic vitality of individuals thereby undermining the inherent vicious circle of poverty and illiteracy. Secured environment for investment and unstoppable labor migration might be the major challenges that contribute to the lack of entrepreneurial gusto of the emerging youths.



2.    K.C. FB. Entrepreneurs in Nepal: An empirical Study


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