KATHMANDU, April 25: Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs' Associations of Nepal (FWEAN), the apex body of women Entrepreneurs in Nepal, has organized a roundtable discussion on the need to increase entrepreneurship development fund loan for SMEs promoted by women.
The major objective of this roundtable discussion was to increase Entrepreneurship Development Fund (EDF) loan to support the growth and sustainability of women-owned enterprises, and to consequently generate employment opportunities, which is important for the economy of Nepal, the federation said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “Higher loan amounts will particularly help women entrepreneurs who are exporters and need to scale up their businesses,” it added.
Nepali women SME entrepreneurs need an average of Rs 500,000 due to the high cost of raw materials and the necessity for storage of raw materials during off-seasons; high labor costs; and expensive machineries.
According to the Department of Small and Cottage Industry (DCSI), 765 such enterprises have received loan from its offices in 41 districts. In the fiscal year 2016/2017, 337 women entrepreneurs received between Rs 100,000 and Rs 250,000 in loans from DCSI, while another 47 received loans above Rs 300,000.
The government is currently lending Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000 to women entrepreneurs under EDF. Women entrepreneurs have asked the government to increase lending under EDF to Rs 1 million to Rs 2.5 million.