Project launched to foster resilience of women-led businesses hit by COVID-19 pandemic

Published On: August 20, 2021 04:38 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, August 20: A project to foster resilience of women-led businesses including the home-based women producers has been launched in Nepal. The project aims at providing a platform to home-based women producers both in the formal and informal sector, enabling them to brave the COVID impasse and equip them with the necessary skills and information to be resilient during disasters beyond COVID-19.

Thulo.Com together with Enterprise for Management, Economic Reform and Gender Equality (EMERGE) is implementing the project “Fostering Resilience of Women Led Businesses (including home-based women producers) and Consumers” with support from USAID’s Tayar Nepal - Improved Disaster Risk Management Project.

Thulo.Com and EMERGE on Wednesday conducted a virtual inception meeting  that drew women businesses, representatives from ministries, local government, banks, insurance, tech companies, development agencies,  private sector organizations, and media as participants.

Welcoming the participants in the program, CEO of EMERGE Dr Mona Shrestha Adhikari mentioned that the main objectives behind this project are to impart skills on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) integrated with holistic business management and to enhance the economic resilience of women led businesses and disaster resilience of potential consumers. The project’s geographical focus is in five provinces, 10 districts, and 15 municipalities.

In her opening remarks, Chief of Party, Tayar Nepal, Tammie Harris, shared that this project is an extension of last year’s pilot project named “Revitalizing Women’s Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic”. She pointed out that private sector engagement, gender equality, and social inclusion are cross-cutting themes for Tayar Nepal.

Chief of Party Harris also expressed confidence that the project would equip women entrepreneurs and producers with tools to enhance their business resilience and assist them to explore more entrepreneurship opportunities in producing the products that will contribute to enhancing the resilience of communities. She also appreciated the in-kind contribution of and the EMERGE team to this project.

In his special remarks, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies (MOICS) Durga Prasad Bhusal said that the project is rightly timed to grab the opportunities presented by e-commerce and mitigate the challenges brought by the disasters like COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of MOICS, Under Secretary Bhusal expressed readiness to extend all kinds of support to the project and enable MSMEs including women businesses to benefit from e-commerce regulations and plans of the government.

The project is collaborating with organizations namely SAARC Business Association of Home-Based Workers (SABAH Nepal), National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN), Federation of Business and Professional Women Nepal (FBPWN), and Federation of Women with Disability-Nepal (FWDN) along with four municipalities, namely Birendranagar, Surkhet district; Godavari, Kailali district; Neelakantha, Dhading district; and Tulsipur sub-metropolitan city, Dang district - that are working areas of USAID’s Tayar Nepal.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Thulo.Com, and the focal person of the Project said that the project aims to upskill 120 women entrepreneurs and home based producers among which 40 will get access to online promotion and sales along with developing a dedicated App to disseminate information related to DRRM.

"COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed the economic crises more so for the women businesses (women-owned/led Micro small and medium enterprises -MSMEs). With lives and livelihoods affected by disasters like COVID-19, a robust intervention is needed to support women businesses as well as women home-based producers across the country for their sustainable economic recovery and resilience to various types of disasters," said a joint press statement issued by the organizers.

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