The 17th Arthalaya took place from 5th – 10th September, 2013 at Dhulikhel, Nepal with 24 participants from 17 colleges across the valley. Every subsequent Arthalaya received increasing number of participants which required procedural sifting on the part of Samriddhi.
Arthalaya aimed to be a very interactive yet disciplined structure. Discussions revolved around key issues inclusive of: the Role of State, Civil Society and Market in delivering basic services, the impact of policies such as taxation, licensing and subsidies on the business environment and entrepreneurs, the requirements to become an entrepreneur and the need for economic freedom and promoting ideas of economic freedom. These carefully chosen ideas kept participants intrigued throughout the residential workshop.
Key speakers included Shanti Shrestha and Nirjala Shrestha of Friends Handicraft who shared their success in the ‘Story of an Entrepreneur’ session. The two of them shared how they had had a one-room start that slowly expanded to four floors of workspace for handicrafts. They now currently employ 125 women, most of whom lived below the poverty line. Their story, particularly as women entrepreneurs, managed to inspire a lot of the students. Another much applauded session was by everyone’s favorite, Anil Chitrakar, who spoke on possibilities for a prosperous Nepal.
The program was packed with entertaining games and activities that helped the students better understand the idea of free markets. This was all set in the beautiful location of Dhulikhel away from the maddening crowd of the city that only added to the charm.