“Good policies encouraging entrepreneurship is the key,” says Shailaja Kasaju, Co-founder of Tekka.

Tekka, Established after the 2015 earthquakes, aims to provide support and bring empowerment to women in Sindhupalchowk. The social enterprise is the hub for handcrafted products sourced from women from nooks and crannies of the country. Every product, with stories of local entrepreneurs behind them, reflects authenticity and traditional values. To support the local entrepreneurs Tekka offers training and mentorship on skill development, decision making, financial management and connects them to the market. So far, they have trained women from rural communities to create products of crochet, banana fiber, pashmina, and packaged food. The products are sold through local markets, fairs, and online.

About Shailaja Kasaju 

Shailaja Kasaju, Director and Co-founder of Tekka, is a graduate of Bachelor in Development Studies. She previously worked as a director of accommodation at Siddhartha Art Foundation and as a Program Officer at Volunteer for Change. Aside from managing the operations of her startup Tekka, she is the Business Development Manager at Chaudhary Group.

Shailaja Kasaju shares her views on promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal :

What do you think is one of the most required policy changes in Nepal from the perspective of promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal?

In the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal, the government is the biggest stakeholder after the entrepreneurs. Without their tacit or explicit support, entrepreneurship cannot thrive. So, good policies encouraging entrepreneurship is the key. There are a lot of policies, good policies, in place, but they lack implementation. Our first focus must be to implement them in an accessible manner. There are many good policies but the process is long and unclear so if the process could be made more systematic, clear and smoother, many youth will be attracted to be entrepreneurs.

Talking about the policy change, the government needs to recognize the role of incubators and business accelerators in the startup ecosystem. Startups are still a new concept even for the ones who are involved in startups. The government needs to take measures to offer mentorship and training for entrepreneurs and invest in infrastructures, such as co-working spaces. If every municipality were to have a co-working space for new entrepreneurs, a place where they can work together and exchange ideas, for the first year of a startup, then the start-up would save the operating cost. 

What impact will such policy change yield for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal?

It will bring local young entrepreneurs under one roof. They could also work together exchanging ideas and possibly collaborate. This will help strengthen the startup ecosystem and promote the broader vision of entrepreneurial ecosystem development. 

As a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021, Samriddhi Foundation asked Nepali entrepreneurs what they think is the most pressing policy change to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal. In this series, Samriddhi Foundation will feature two entrepreneurs a day through the #GEW2021 week, starting from November 8 to November 14, 2021.