We are the Kathmandhu-based Samriddhi Foundation, a local nonprofit committed to improving the opportunity landscape for Nepal's people.
We are concerned that despite a culture of hard work and entrepreneurship, Nepal's economy lags and unemployment is too high -- 46 percent according to the CIA World Factbook, the most reliable source available. But would-be employers face too many barriers to expansion and growth, particularly the thousands of independent owners of small local shops -- known as Kirana Pasals -- that make up the fabric of daily commercial life in Nepal's cities.
These independent businesses almost never grow in Nepal, never expand to become medium or large-sized operations, like department stores or supermarkets. Instead, too many entrepreneurs in Nepal plug along day to day, often operating in the informal economy, maintaining a one-owner, one-store operation supporting few, if any, additional employees.
What prevents these hardworking entrepreneurs from getting a leg up? What keeps them from engaging the formal economy, accessing credit and expanding their operations? We know there is too much red tape in Nepal for entrepreneurs trying to run a business. We need to tell this story to make the case for economic freedom and opportunity.
We need to do what has not yet been done here -- study the day-to-day realities of Kirana Pasal owners in a methodical way, demonstrating through rigorous research techniques the barriers preventing economic growth for these entrepreneurs and the communities they support.
By telling 100 of their stories in this way, we will then have the credibility and advocacy network needed to launch a major campaign connecting entrepreneurs and government leaders, many for the first time, to craft a practical action plan for improving economic opportunity and job growth in Nepal, a shared goal by all stakeholders.
We need $15,000 to conduct our fieldwork, organize the campaign and to host a series of high-impact community workshops engaging entrepreneurs in direct civic action. We are thrilled to share with you that Atlas Network, a D.C.-based nonprofit, has committed a dollar for dollar matching grant of $7,500 towards this project. That means we only need another $7,500 to reach our goal and to make a big difference for thousands of small shop entrepreneurs in Nepal. Your gift is tax deductible in the U.S.
Will you join us in this cause to improve economic freedom and opportunity in Nepal?
Not only are your contributions tax-deductible and matched by Atlas, but you can also enjoy one of several special tokens of our heartfelt thanks as follows:
More About Samriddhi: The Prosperity Foundation
Samriddhi is a public policy institute based in Kathmandu, Nepal that envisions and works towards the creation of a free and prosperous Nepal. It was initiated in 2006 with the belief that it was time to start discussing prosperity instead of the focus on poverty only. Therefore, the name ‘Samriddhi’ (Nepali) which translates to prosperity in English. Samriddhi works with a three tier approach of independent research, education and training and public outreach and advocacy on four thematic areas viz. improving the business environment, economic reform policies for Nepal, promoting entrepreneurship and promoting democratic values and principles.
Samriddhi has several award winning projects and campaigns including the ‘Let me earn a living’ campaign that won the Templeton Freedom Award, ‘Arthalaya – School of Economics and Entrepreneurship’ that won the ‘Leading best practice award in promotion of youth entrepreneurship’. Its research papers are widely acknowledged by stakeholders in Nepal and its research on Nepal Economic Growth Agenda in 2011/2012 was adopted by the apex private sector body (Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry) as well as the Government’s Investment Board as priority growth agenda for the upcoming year.
Samriddhi works closely with several actors including policy makers, market participants and draws attention and proposes solutions to constraints to Nepal’s economic growth. It is a largely locally funded organization with individual and organizational giving but it also works with international donors on occasion when there is a matching interest on issues. For further details about its activities please refer to www.samriddhi.org