At an age, where most women prefer playing along with their grandkids, 53 year old Puspamaya Gurung runs her own business, ‘Gurung Masala Udhyog’ located at Meldhara, Palpa which she built from scratch with the help of her husband, her daughter and Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal (WEAN), Palpa where she produces products such as Mixmasala, Curry Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Szechuan Pepper Powder, Cinnamon Powder etc. Her products used to be locally sold and promoted through a small customer base which, now has been reduced given the COVID-19 situation that has no signs of slowing down. When her business got badly affected, Puspamaya wondered what else she could do to improve her business she worked so hard to build.
The training on Digital Literacy facilitated by FWEAN delivered on 26th and 27th of July 2020 came as a blessing in disguise for Puspamaya. The training was designed and implemented by FWEAN to increase digital knowledge of many women entrepreneurs like her who were not equipped with basic digital tools and also to increase the outreach of women in technology. Puspamaya actively participated in the 2 day online training session via Zoom. “I was really excited to be part of these sessions, with many didibahinis (sisters) like me,” she shared. Although she had an email address prior to the trainings, but she neither had created it nor had ever used it for any purpose. In these sessions, she learned how to access internet browsers, create personal email account, send and reply to emails, create Facebook account, Viber accounts, using Zoom for video conferencing and so on.
Today, post the training, she has been able to create a personal email address on her own and can even send an email to her fellows. She can now market about her enterprise and her products via Facebook where she could reach a higher consumer base which will be beneficial in the days to come. When asked if the training was effective or not for her, she cheerily replied, “The training was extremely helpful. I created an email account on my own.” She sounded so proud. “I am happy that the reliance on my family members to use the digital tools has ended.”
Puspamaya will also be participating in several other trainings packaged as part of the project “Safety and Opportunity for Women in Asia”, funded by The Asia Foundation to support women entrepreneurs recover and revive their businesses. FWEAN will follow up in next several months to see how these trainings has helped participants like Puspamaya in their businesses affected due to the COVID-19 situation.