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Ideas and action

Publication Date : 20-02-2013


It is difficult to imagine a bright future for a country  like Nepal where the goals of a vast proportion of students is to leave the country as fast as possible. On a collective basis, the country has lost a huge resource, not only in those who go abroad to do white collar work in Western countries, (although plenty of them are left with no option but to do below-minimum-wage jobs there too) but also the tremendous amount of labour that is busy sweating in the Middle East or Southeast Asia. That labour force, working in conditions that often verge on bonded labour, will spend its most productive years abroad. One can easily envision that in the future, as young and able-bodied men and women get old and feeble, Nepal’s government will face an enormous strain in its abilities to provide services like healthcare. The responsibility to foresee that and start investing in capacities to cope with future challenges, of course, lies with policymakers, both domestic and foreign.

Not everyone, however, chooses to go abroad or build a career there. The number of people who have decided to stay in Nepal, or return to Nepal, and become entrepreneurs is on the rise at present. They are starting to make their mark in myriad enterprises, from agri-businesses to e-commerce. The wonderful thing about these young entrepreneurs is that they are using talent and resources that are locally-available to venture into businesses that have not yet been tried on Nepali soil. This is a marvelous attitude, one that contrasts well with another class of extremely cynical Nepalis who only see scarcity and a lack of opportunities in this country that is rich in so many different ways. Their outlooks are easy to distinguish: where cynics see problems, innovators see opportunities.

There is much society can learn from these young entrepreneurs. By jumping into areas where others have not treaded before, they have proved that they natural leaders. Their attitude towards taking risks is also admirable, for it takes great courage to do new things and not travel along the beaten path. The aptitude for risks they possess is essential to implement new ideas. Besides, there is also an element of doggedness and fearlessness. Many of them go against the wishes of their parents and peers to start their own enterprises. This proves that members of the younger generation are quite capable of standing up to authority to assert their independence. Although Nepali society is still very hierarchical, from the household to the workplace, young leaders give us hope that fractures will start to appear in the old order. The greatest achievement of the young entrepreneurs, however, is their ability to identify what we have, and not only what we don’t (which, incidentally, is the specialty of the aid industry). Their actions give us confidence that tomorrow will be better than today.


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