Kathmandu, September 13
Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has urged women entrepreneurs to expand their small enterprises to big industries.
Addressing inaugural event of fifth ‘International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2019’ here today, minister said that despite more involvement of women in business in recent times, they are still either lagging behind or limited to small enterprises only.
“Our recent Labour Force Survey 2017-18 shows around 40 per cent businesses are owned by women entrepreneurs, which means Nepali women are growing as entrepreneurs,” he said. “However, most of them are involved in small enterprises. Now the time has come for women to get involved in big industries.”
He further said that entrepreneurship is all about taking risks and managing the situation. Hence, if women are ready to take big risks and open big industries, the government is always ready to support them. Moreover, Khatiwada also said that most of the businesses owned by women are informal which needs to be transformed to formal businesses.
“It is good to establish one’s own business and generate jobs for others. However, formalising the women-owned businesses will not only support them but also the government to maintain actual records and generate revenue,” he added.
Minister Khatiwada also spoke about the status of women entrepreneurship in Nepal in the last one-and-a-half decades during the event. “As our social institutions are improving, the role of women in all sectors — political, economic, social, education — is also improving gradually,” he said. “In the last 15 years, we have achieved a lot regarding women entrepreneurship. The initiatives taken by the government as well as the private sector are giving good results in this sector.” He also emphasised that women should not limit themselves to owning businesses but also need to participate in the decision making process as well as the technical aspects of business.
The two-day event has been organised by South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF). The event is being participated by more than 100 delegates from over 22 countries, including Switzerland, Germany, the United States of America, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Africa and Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The main aim of the summit is to have discussions about the emerging issues on e-commerce, agriculture, gender, women leadership, sustainable development and tourism, said Pramila Acharya Rijal, president of SAWDF.
A version of this article appears in print on September 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.