” We need a startup fund and especially, a national startup fund to leverage the grassroot enterprise build up in the country,”says Dr. Bishal Dhakal, Founder of Health at Home

Dr. Bishal Dhakal is a medical practitioner and a celebrated social entrepreneur. Health at Home, which he started in 2007, makes health care services available to people in their homes.  

Dhakal dropped out of his cardiac surgery residency and began to pursue his interest in healthcare technology, which led him to founding Health at Home. Dr. Dhakal has been awarded multiple awards for his innovation, including Youth Leader Award in 2007 and the Surya Nepal Social Entrepreneurship Award in 2012. A polyglot, he has spoken at healthcare innovation conferences in India, Russia, USA, Myanmar, Turkey, Sweden and Singapore.

About Health at home

Health at Home is Nepal’s first healthcare service delivery platform. A pioneer in creating the culture of customized home healthcare services, it offers a range of care services for patients from general nursing care, critical care for severely ill patients and long-term, chronically ill patients to counselling for patients, physiotherapy services, and monthly prescription-drug delivery. The enterprise makes healthcare more accessible to people and provides care for more than 200 patients.

Dr. Dhakal shares his views on 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?

Funds, Nepal needs more funds to fuel enterprise building. We need a startup fund and especially, a national startup fund to leverage the grassroot enterprise build up in the country. This is almost grassroot activism in action. We need to give enough window to pay taxes  for both startups. As for initial startup,  small scale funds in the category of seed investment are needed. Such measures trigger ignition.

We need to promote project financing in the country. Banks and Financial Institutions (BFIs) have to move away from collateral-based financing to risk financing. The government has to leverage the BFIs providing risk financing to startups with benefits and rewards.

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

Ideas that are not nurtured will get wasted. Startup ideas and efforts are vulnerable and have a set lifetime. If we are unable to inject funds on such ideas on time we will not be able to get traction and hence we will lose the yield. The practical results are visible in every ecosystem across the world. We are late to build our own one.

If we want to see the change we have to start funding ideas and startups actively. Instead of a 100 investments every year we have to leverage the number to 10,000 every year. We will surely get more than 10 unicorns in 10 years. That’s as it is, pretty straightforward.

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.