With the exponential growth of entrepreneurship, there are ample opportunities for both entrepreneurs and investors in a country like Nepal. Some enter the field with the passion to bring out changes in the society, while some join to solve problems. Whereas some join wishing to prosper financially and there are others just following the trend without understanding entrepreneurship fully.
Entrepreneurship is about coming out of one’s comfort zone and venturing into the world of opportunities, knowing they would have to face multiple risks. An entrepreneurial ecosystem requires individuals brave enough to risk a steady paycheck while they pursue the journey. Such individuals should be aware of the risks and challenges involved and be ready to combat them with innovation.
Entrepreneurship is about creating jobs for oneself and also for other like-minded people. In the context of Nepal, it is also about minimizing the tendency of people leaving for foreign employment opportunities. Moreover, it is about retaining and adjusting human resources in the ecosystem to intensify the value of entrepreneurship. Naturally, the number of entrepreneurs is significantly rising but the essence of entrepreneurship is somewhat lost.
The Harsh Reality
Nepalis have created a façade for entrepreneurship. Starting a business might look promising but most entrepreneurs nowadays are unprepared for the hurdles that come across while up-scaling their businesses. Seeing some entrepreneurs succeed is tempting and some venture into the journey unaware of the time it takes for an idea to flourish, the needed investment and patience before they become successful.
The hype of running a business and being the ‘so-called CEO’ has gotten over most of the youths’ heads. They want to run the business without being ready to do what they need to do properly. Among the many issues, the financial crisis is the most probable result entrepreneurs come across, and very few Nepali entrepreneurs are prepared for it. Most startups stop their operations because they fail to continue their purposes and, implement proper and effective revenue model(s).
A few policies have been made in support of startups. However, the lack of implementation of those policies is still posing a challenge for the young entrepreneurs and their ventures. The monitoring and evaluation aspects are also still weak and it fails to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to grow.
Entrepreneurship is about the outcome and its impact on society, however, entrepreneurs do make one mistake by seeking results very fast. Being result-oriented is one thing but seeking it prematurely will not contribute to the upliftment of the company. The Nepali entrepreneurship fraternity has been infiltrated by false derivatives. Seeing someone conduct business and excel has enticed youth into the journey of entrepreneurship but only a few manage to excel. So it is mandatory that they study and research before diving into the fraternity.
Another issue is the lack of ownership, which is the most important factor in any entrepreneurship. Ownership is not just about stakes and taking credit for success but also about taking responsibility for failures, production, delivery, and workers. Which is missing in most entrepreneurs.
Prospects of growth
Anyone can be an entrepreneur, no matter what age, race, gender and economic background they belong to. Not only men, but there has been a rise in women’s participation in the ecosystem too. With the growing number, new and improvised innovations are being introduced in many sectors.
But many Nepali entrepreneurship today are catering to niche markets only. Only a few industries indulge in mass production, which means there are a lot of spaces for entrepreneurs to prosper. Though not diverse, the existing entrepreneurship are contributing to the country’s economy. With their dedication and hard work, they have also solved problems, which have been exemplary and motivating for many.
To flourish the entrepreneurship culture, there are organizations like Antarprerana, One to Watch, Nepal Communitere, etc. nurturing entrepreneurs and incubating their ideas; helping them in every step of the way. They help people refine their products and services so that they can stand strong in front of their international counterparts, to compete and create synergy at the same time.
Angel investors and venture capitalists are showing interest to inject money into the businesses they find interesting. Investors in Nepal have now become familiar with the concept of entrepreneurship. And undoubtedly their investments give new businesses that much needed financial-push, to multiply their presence and impact in society.
Similarly, there are co-working spaces encouraging startups and entrepreneurs to gather up, network and build their empires. Which all resonates the same thing that there are a lot of opportunities for those seeking to start their own ventures.
But the most essential thing is for an entrepreneur to have a clear idea about what s/he wants to achieve from their initiatives. To understand they have the privilege to contribute to society with their ideas and commitment towards their work.
An entrepreneur needs to understand that it is not only about starting a business; it’s about never giving up and always moving forward. Patience is the key to become a successful entrepreneur. And most importantly, it is about bringing necessary changes to the traditional business norms and presenting alternative solutions to the existing problems.