King’s College is organizing ‘International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship’ in Kathmandu on June 30-June 1. The two-day conference will see host of international experts on social entrepreneurship who are providing extensive insights on social entrepreneurship and its relevance to countries like Nepal.
The event is also a platform for networking among academicians, intellectuals, economists, bureaucrats, policy makers and other stakeholders. King’s College expects the event to be a game-changer in the economic landscape of the country. Republica talked with Narottam Aryal, Principal of King’s College, to discuss more about the conference.
What is the purpose behind organizing the International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship?
As an educational institution dedicated to entrepreneurship, it is our responsibility to generate and disseminate knowledge and message on relevant and important issues. We also want to start a discourse on the possibility of adopting the concept of compassionate capitalism to address the socio-economic challenges of the country at a time when capitalism is going through a transformation. Also several development agencies, including the United Nations, are also redefining its model of development linking it to sustainability. Hence, we strongly believe that social entrepreneurship is the most appropriate model to address Nepal’s socio-economic challenges. At this point, we believe that social entrepreneurship can offer a win-win solution. Business so far has been understood as one directional with the investors getting optimum benefits. This is what something that we want to change.
In this conference, we are bringing together practitioners and experts from both home and abroad so that we can know and understand the best practices of each other.
Is entrepreneurship only the game changer?
Yes. We strongly believe so. Nepal is not under-resourced, but undermanaged. Hence, we need lot of young entrepreneurs who are passionate, ambitious, experienced, and ready to add values to these resources to address our socio-economic challenges.
How do you justify your organization’s longing towards entrepreneurship at a time when the mainstream business community has been complaining of weak investment environment?
We acknowledge that there are challenges and difficulties. However, we believe that we need to look for opportunities and solutions within these challenges. And the answer lies in the question itself. We are not saying that there should not be mega scale business investment now. We are just encouraging people to initiate something on their own, something which is technically simple, consuming less energy, not based on imported raw materials, not requiring higher capital. We aim to develop lean start-ups with a small investment but with an innovative solution. More importantly, we cannot address the challenges if we just complain.
What are your expectations from this international conference?
We aim to bring together academicians, practitioners, and entrepreneurs to make common understanding about social entrepreneurship. We would like to create a movement of social entrepreneurship in Nepal as a model of changing the society and economic landscape here. We want to mark it a starting point toward this direction. The conference will also identify problems and find possible solutions in order to influence policy. On top of everything, it will be an amazing platform for building a right ecosystem for social entrepreneurship. It will provide a huge network for participants for future support and growth.
You have many partners supporting this event. Is this a testimony that the number of people and organizations working in this field is increasing?
Definitely. I believe people have been acquainted with the ill-effects of highly corporate and commercial business venture. Simultaneously, people’s interest in this field has grown massively all over the world in the last one decade and Nepal has not been untouched with this global phenomenon. We have seen the same level of interest in Nepal as well; at least in the idea level. Most of our partners, to whom I am very grateful for joining hands with us, have been trying their best to promote the idea of social entrepreneurship for several years.