Why Udhyami Fellowship?
Business in Nepal has long been taken as gambling, risk taking attitude is a trait that an aspiring businessman must possess but ‘calculated risk’ till date remains a term unknown to many. The same is the reason why majority of the businesses shutdown within the first 3 years of establishment.
We, at ISAP had come across a research paper in early 2015 which discussed the major reasons behind enterprises shutting down in the establishment phase itself. It was through the same report we learned that having technical knowledge of the sector of interest serves as an added advantage but that alone is not enough for one to run a successful business venture. Most organizations focus on workshops that only capacitates the participants with technical know-how but we have cases of persons with technical degrees being unable to sustain their businesses. This realization later inspired us to design Udhyami Fellowship.
Udhyami Fellowship is an apprenticeship program that focuses on capacitating aspiring entrepreneurs with technical knowledge and business skills. The apprentices in the program are addressed as Fellows who stay with market veterans for a course of 4 to 12 weeks in which they gain a firsthand experience on farm business cycle, farm management, market linkage and acquire technical knowledge through on-the-job training opportunity. The objective of the program is not just to equip the fellows with technical and business knowledge but to also help them realize whether or not they are ready for the sector.
We started with fellowship placement at Pragatishil Krishak Samuha in March 2016 in which 4 participants got enrolled. One of the fellows Mr. Manaraj Lama started his own mushroom farm in Makwanpur soon after the completion of Udhyami Fellowship. Another fellow, Mr.Binod Rai resumed his previous profession as a painter but he also serves as a contractor for constructing tunnels and mushroom packaging for mushroom farms in and around Kathmandu. Ms. Manju Karki and Ms. Anjana Thapa Magar realized that they were not ready for the challenges that the sector demands so they decided not to venture into the sector and save the amount they were willing to invest for until they find something for which they are ready for.
After the successful completion of the pilot program at the mushroom farm at Kapan, Kathmandu. We spread to other sectors such as Goat Farming, Poultry Farming (Broiler), Poultry (Layers), Cow Farming, Coffee Shop Management and Vegetable Farming.
By early 2017, ISAP had already completed 13 cycles of Udhyami Fellowship in all the sectors mentioned above. The project obtained similar results from all placements, the participants either got involved in the sector upon completion of the project and had a better start in their careers because of the exposure they had received from the placement or realized they were not ready for the hardship that the sector demands and decided to invest their resources and energy elsewhere.
We would like to thank our Host Entrepreneurs from Pragatishil Krishak Samuha Ms. Rama Lamichhhane and Ms. Krishna Kumari Basnet for believing in us and for agreeing to join hands with us. We would also like to thank our fellows Ms. Anjana Thapa Magar, Ms. Manju Karki, Mr. Binod Rai and Mr. Manaraj Lama for having faith in us and for committing their time and energy to the program knowing it’s a first of its kind and had no success stories to back our claims regarding the program.