At a time when many young people are abandoning agriculture, young farmer Bindu Sahi inspires others to seek simple and innovative solutions to farming challenges.
Nepal faces both economic and climate challenges, making the need to strengthen the resilience of the country’s businesses mission critical. The launch of the Government of Nepal’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Entrepreneurship Policy Framework, which ICIMOD helped shape, this Monday was an important step forward in bolstering the enterprise sector against these threats.
The paper was launched as part of the Startup Nation 2030 Conference, held from 28 to 29 August in Nepal, which set out to build a more ambitious and vigorous start-up ecosystem in the country.
This conference marks a significant milestone in Nepal’s journey toward becoming a startup nation, showcasing the country’s potential to thrive in the face of climate challenges and foster green innovation.
The startup ecosystem in Nepal is dynamic, shaped by the country’s unique challenges: climate vulnerability and a dwindling workforce due to youth migration. To navigate these challenges, Nepal must optimize resources, cut carbon emissions, empower youth, and create equal opportunities while transforming risks into opportunities.
Climate innovation, be it in energy or agriculture, is poised to become the fastest-growing sector in the near future. Thus, the jobs of the future must be climate and nature-positive, placing our planet at the forefront.
The nation’s micro, small, and medium-sized businesses already form the backbone of its economy. The Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Entrepreneurship Policy Framework, launched during the event, aims to fuse this strong entrepreneurial culture with a focus on climate and environmental opportunities, propelling enterprises toward a greener and more resilient future.
The Road Ahead: Scaling Green Startups in the HKH
To expand Nepal’s success in building green startup ecosystems across the Hindu Kush Himalaya region means collaborating, customizing, and committing. Sharing knowledge, forming tailored strategies, and partnering with international organizations will be essential. Governments, access to finance, cross-border collaboration, and inclusivity will be our drivers. By nurturing green startups and fostering innovation, we can shape a sustainable future for our economies and youth.
As Nepal’s Startup Nation 2030 Conference sparked change, our collective dedication will propel us toward a greener, more resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya.
Voices from the Conference
Several key figures at the conference shared their insights and visions for Nepal's startup future:
"Through this conference, we've successfully harnessed the collective power of government, academia, and the private sector, catalyzing Nepal's transformation into a dynamic startup nation. The Government of Nepal has been fostering partnerships with both the private sector and academia to drive this progress." - Hon. Minister Ramesh Rizal, MoIC
"Political changes have paved the way for entrepreneurship.
In the 1990s, we had one newspaper and one TV station, and even had to take tokens for lunch. Now, we have 753 startups with resources and a mandate, thanks to these changes. " - Anil Chitrakar
"As we move forward, let's learn from our neighbours like India, China, and Bangladesh. We're working on three levels: Ministries, Universities, and expert partnerships.
Together, we move mountains, driven by the anchor force of Antarprerana, to shape a brighter future for Nepal's economy and youth." - Anu Joshi Shrestha, ICIMOD
"Creating green and resilient businesses is no longer a nice-to-have; it's an urgent necessity. We must focus on bringing in green opportunities to turbocharge the enterprises of tomorrow, ensuring that the jobs we set out to create today are the right ones - for people, for profit, but also for the planet." - Izabella Koziell, ICIMOD