KATHMANDU, Sept 18: Women Entrepreneurs’ Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) on Thursday organized a virtual interaction on the COVID-19 impact on businesses run by women in Nepal.
During the virtual press conference with Sancharika Samuha, women entrepreneurs shared that the COVID-19 pandemic and months-long lockdown has taken heavy toll on their businesses.
FWEAN Chairperson Rita Singh urged the government to help facilitate to women entrepreneurs in getting concessional loans from the banks and marketing of their businesses in coming days. "The government should help women entrepreneurs to revive their businesses smoothly," she said.
Executive Director of the FWEAN Anamika Singh said that the organization is tirelessly working to develop positive thinking on the women entrepreneurs. "At the same time, we are working in building networks to promote the issue of empowerment of women entrepreneurs," she said.
Director of the Nepal Republic Media Shova Gyawali said that the FWEAN is taking a lead role in identifying and addressing common problems of women entrepreneurs. "We are supporting women entrepreneurs at the time of crisis as well," she said. She said that the organization has publicized success stories of women entrepreneurs through digital and print media so that they can learn something on how to survive during the time of crises.
"The government should help the women entrepreneurs at the time of crisis as they have made significant contribution to the country's economy," Gyawali said.
Chairperson of Sancharika Samuha Nitu Pandit said that COVID-19 has hit almost every sector of the Nepali economy and women entrepreneurship is not an exception. "Now, time has come for women entrepreneurs to explore new opportunities amid this pandemic," she said.
During the event, women entrepreneurs said that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown them into financial insecurity.
Common challenges to women entrepreneurs are: provide salaries to their employees, manage bank loan installments, and pay house rent to the tenant, according to the FWEAN.
Similarly, women entrepreneurs are not able to sell their goods to market due to ongoing prohibitory orders enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus in some of the districts, the organization said. During the event, it was shared that coronavirus is impacting on the mental health of women entrepreneurs due to lack of proper exchange of communication.
FWEAN, founded in 2005 has 124 members and 50 district committees across the country.