September 21, 2017
Kathmandu:In commemoration of the first-ever Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) Day on 27 June, an exhibition of goods produced by micro-entrepreneurs from across Nepal was held by UNDP’s Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) at Labim Mall, Lalitpur.
The stalls at the exhibit—organized in collaboration with the Chaudhary Foundation, Ministry of Industry and the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)—witnessed close to 5,000 visitors browsing a wide selection of handicrafts and other goods made by entrepreneurs who had been supported in their endeavors by MEDEP and financially supported by DFAT.
The theme of MSME Day this year ‘Small Business, Big Impact’, reflects the significance of these enterprises in “stimulating economic growth, creating jobs and trade, as key vehicles for poverty eradication and improved livelihoods,” as put by UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, Valerie Julliand. Also speaking at the programme, newly-elected Mayor of Lalitpur, Chiri Babu Maharjan, encouraged the participating micro-entrepreneurs to continue to promote locally-made products to preserve unique traditional Nepali crafts as well as contributing to the broader flourishing of entrepreneurship around the country.
Early this year, the United Nations General Assembly had adopted a resolution recognizing the crucial role Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises play in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, thereby designating June 27 this year as the first MSME day. Indeed, MSMEs have proven vital in creating employment and income generation opportunities across the world, including Nepal, and have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development.
In the last 19 years of its existence, MEDEP has helped more than 118,800 poor people from rural Nepal to establish enterprises, which have in turn created more than 190,000 jobs. Additionally, almost 73% of MEDEP beneficiaries are women and it has also been reaching out to traditionally marginalized groups and communities.
Touching on this achievement, Ashrayata Karki, Board Member of Chaudhary Foundation and Tara Gurung, Programme Director of DFAT, expressed their appreciation for the work of MEDEP and the contribution of MSME’s to the economy overall, urging continued catering of programmes and services to vulnerable sectors of the workforce.