Stakeholders call to create a favorable environment to boost digital entrepreneurship

Kathmandu / The stakeholders have emphasized access to capital, knowledge, and network required for Digital Entrepreneurship as it has enormous potential in Nepal.

In a virtual program on Thursday--Early States of Digital Entrepreneurship--jointly organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Society of Economic Journalists-Nepal (SEJON), stakeholders urged to create favorable conditions for Digital Entrepreneurship. 

Nepal has the basis for the growth of digital-based services because it now has high access to mobile services, declining data charges, and a sufficient number of young people.

Previous experience of high growth of technology-based small and medium enterprises has also shown high potential for its future expansion in Nepal. This kind of business seems to fill the void for the failed private and public sectors.

These kinds of businesses emerge as leaders in the local and other markets in the future, though some of them may fail. These businesses hold the potentiality to make their market both regionally and globally; stakeholders expressed their views during the program.

Member of the National Planning Commission, Dr. Ram Kumar Phuyal, said that the government should seriously resolve the real problems identified in entrepreneurship development. Providing financial and policy support is not enough; the government should promote it, he said.

He informed that the commission has envisioned enterprising citizens through the 15th Five-Year Plan and will facilitate the execution.

ADB Country Director for Nepal, Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, said that while there is an opportunity for technology-based startups in Nepal, it is equally important to create a conducive environment by addressing economic and legal challenges.

Niraj Giri, executive director of the Nepal Securities Board, said that the board is giving leverage to the investors and operators to run on mutual agreement instead of the regulation. Discussions are underway to bring small and medium entrepreneurs into the share market to raise the capital, he said. He also said that there is a challenge to overcome the administrative process from the Department of Industry and NRB despite concern on bringing foreign capital for entrepreneurship in Nepal.

During the discussion, Willem Grimick, Founder of One to Watch, recommended to invest enough capital required for entrepreneurship. Technology-based businesses have entered in new ways, in times of crisis, and there is an opportunity for Digital entrepreneurship to expand, he said.

Lack of financial access is the biggest obstacle for Nepal's entrepreneurship, said Nikita Acharya, chief executive of UG Bazaar.

Managing Director of Safal Partners, Asutosh Tiwari, said that there is a need for building an overall ecosystem for digital entrepreneurship.

He stresses the need for investing remittance money in entrepreneurship.

Ritu Pradhan Malla, an investment manager of Business Oxygen, said that procedural obstacles created problems while raising capital. 

The program also emphasized the need for legal and regulatory provisions for the expansion of digital entrepreneurship.

The program calls for digital entrepreneurship, especially for the upliftment of small and medium enterprises led by the private sector.

The program focused on making traditional small and medium enterprises technology-based and investing in new startups.

The program also discussed creating an overall business cycle for businesses using digital technology that requires an investment of $15,000 to $2,50,000.