ILO-FNCCI study on inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems identifies ways to improve support for Nepali youth

On the 24th of November 2023, the ILO and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) co-hosted a technical event to launch the joint study conducted in Kathmandu and Pokhara titled Building Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Nepal. At the event, representatives from development agencies and the Nepali private sector discussed prospective collaborative action based on evidence provided by the new ILO-FNCCI study.

The study identified constraints across six pillars (policy, market, culture, finance, human capital and support) within the existing entrepreneurship ecosystem of Kathmandu and Pokhara, and provides practical recommendations to improve outcomes for young entrepreneurs. After consultation with stakeholders in each ecosystem, two pillars were identified in each city as the most critical to focus on, and where the greatest opportunities exist to improve outcomes for youth entrepreneurs: finance and human capital in Kathmandu, and culture and market in Pokhara. These pillars were then further analysed to identify the root causes of their key constraints and inform how market actors can drive change that can systemically address the constraints.

The findings of the study included a call to scale up local business incubators, raise awareness of existing programs in youth-focused spaces, create linkages between the private sector and the academia.

During the technical meeting, Mr. Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Country Office for Nepal, explained that the study was encouraged by the potential for entrepreneurship to create better employment prospects for Nepali youth.

This was echoed by Mr. Chandra Prasad Dhakal, President of the FNCCI, who said that reducing outmigration and improving Nepal’s prospects of a sustainable graduation from a least developed country relies on unlocking the full potential of young entrepreneurs.

The presentation of the study framed an insightful discussion about how collaborative action is needed to put into practice the study recommendations. Participants generally highlighted the unique findings of the study, especially the relevance of the culture pillar as a cross-cutting dimension of both ecosystems, while calling for a platform involving local stakeholders to better coordinate responses. The full study can be foundhere.