Enabling Women Owned Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Recovery

April 10, 2021 - "ILO"

It is currently estimated that in Asia, nearly one-third of new small enterprises are being set up by women, and in many cases these businesses are creating employment faster than the countries’ domestic averages (Thapa, 2004). In Nepal out of 9,23,353 registered MSME around 27 percentage (2,47,880) are women owned enterprise. Nepal ranks 127 out of 156 countries in the GDI, and is ranked 142 out of 177 countries in the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). The GDI addresses gender-based gaps in education, life expectancy, and incomes.

Women entrepreneurship has a tremendous potential in empowering women and transforming society. It has been recognized as an important source of economic growth. Women entrepreneurs create new job for themselves and others, thus contributing to the solution to organization and business problem. Women entrepreneur is the one who starts business and manages it independently and tactfully, taking all the risks at the same time facing the challenges boldly with the determination to be successful.    

According to Labor Force Survey (2018-19), there are 25% more women than men in the legal working age but only 22.5 percent women are involved in employment. Out of which 90.45 percent women are involved in informal sector. Majority of the women entrepreneurs are involved in micro and cottage enterprises or small and micro-enterprises, however their contribution to the economy is significant. Most of the women-owned/operated businesses are small in size.

Despite, women entrepreneurs’ contribution to economic growth is substantial, COVID-19 has imposed a serious challenge for the survival of women led enterprises. Some of the enterprises have already halted their production because of the scarcity of raw materials, resulting in problem of cash flow management. Due to lack of production and no income source, many women are worried about how to repay their bank loan. In addition, most of the firms are facing the issue of human resource management. Further, supply chain and market linkages are not as smooth as earlier. Lack of idea and knowledge on predicting the financial status of business, business sustainability plan, accounting, taxation, business renewal, marketing, market research etc. have further created a dilemma for the survival and sustainability of women’s enterprises.

Project Objective 

•    To contribute towards decent employment creation through resilient enterprise recovery

•    Women entrepreneurs advocate for evidence-based policy reforms to support resilient and green recovery from COVID-19

Project Location

The geographical area covered by the project includes 8 districts from two of the provinces, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi,Palpa, Banke, Kapilvastu, Rupandehi from Lumbini Province and Mahottari and Dhanusha from Province 2 which were the direct beneficiaries of the project whereas all WEAN chapters are also covered by several activities of the project which was conducted virtually.

Donor’s Name: International Labor Organization (ILO) in support of UK Aid

About Donor: 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the UN specialized agency dealing with work and workplace issues, and related rights and standards. Its overarching goal is to achieve decent work for all so everyone benefits from working conditions that offer freedom, equity, security and human dignity. 

Nepal joined the ILO in 1966.  In view of the increasing need for support in Nepal and scope for expansion of ILO programmes, the Office of the Senior ILO Adviser was established in January 1994 in Nepal. The Kathmandu Office transitioned to a full-fledged Country Office in 2000.

Nepal has ratified 11 ILO Conventions , including seven core Conventions. The Country Office in Kathmandu supports the constituents in their efforts to achieve decent work and social justice in Nepal. Present ILO Nepal technical cooperation programmes include promoting employment-centric inclusive growth, improving labour market governance and industrial relations, and promoting fundamental principles and rights at work. The ILO in Nepal has played an important role in developing a constructive and congenial social partnership between the Government, workers’ and employers’ organizations. Based on this partnership, the tripartite constituents have been able to unionize informal workers, implement a range of social protection measures, amend labour laws, establish a social dialogue mechanism, and ratify ILO Conventions.

The ILO Nepal is responsible for the coordination of the outcome two of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022 , which aims to increase the country capacity to design, execute and manage economic development programmes, inclusive labour and economic policies, and social protection benefits to boost productive employment and income opportunities.

Source: Official Website of ILO Nepal-: https://www.ilo.org/kathmandu/aboutus/lang–en/index.htm

Areas of work:

The ILO programme in Nepal is aligned with the ILO work worldwide, contributing to the overall goal of promoting Decent Work for all. The ILO Nepal Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) 2018-2022  reflects the priorities of our tripartite constituents (Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Employers’ and Workers’ organizations) focusing on three fundamental areas: (i) Promotion of employment-centric and inclusive growth; (ii) Improved labour market governance and industrial relations; and (iii) Promotion of fundamental principles and rights at work. Gender Equality, Tripartism and Social Dialogue, and International Labour Standards are mainstreamed under the above three priorities.

Read more at: https://www.ilo.org/kathmandu/areasofwork/lang–en/index.htm