The ‘entrepreneur’ tag itself is worthy of pride and recognition

July 9, 2021

Ms. Tulasi Gaire of Palpa District runs an enterprise based on handicraft. She makes dolls, crystal items, hand knitted sweater, socks, and bridal garlands during the wedding season. 

A single parent, Tulasi was a teacher before getting into entrepreneurship. She was enticed towards entrepreneurship following a visit to Pokhara where she met woman entrepreneurs and heard their motivating stories. She says, “The word woman entrepreneur itself sounds good and motivating. I imagined if I also became an entrepreneur it would give me access to national and international platforms and help me get recognized”. 

Gaire, started her business with the objective of generating employment opportunities for other women like herself, to make them economically independent.  After establishing the business, she started providing training to other woman entrepreneurs and this helped her build her network with other women. However, like other entrepreneurs, the COVID-19 lockdown also did not leave Tulasi’s business untouched, bringing it to a total halt. One of the major problems faced by her new business during the lockdown was the inability to pay the rent. But this did not deter her. She says, “Though the pandemic has hit the business very hard, one should not panic and be hopeless but be positive and patience.” 

Before operating the business professionally, Tulasi made few items at home and sold in her neighborhood while she was still a school teacher. After few months she left the teaching profession and completely dedicated her time to establishing her handicraft business. The business was officially registered in 2076.

When starting the business, people in the society suggested her not to quit her teaching profession. They said handicraft would not fetch her enough income to raise her only child. But she took a risk and started the business despite the discouragement.  Now, she feels good to be an entrepreneur, her network is growing and many have even started recognizing her. 

When asked about the program she said, “I came know about the ILO and FWEAN program from WEAN Palpa.”  She was expecting a training that would provide Training of Trainer certificate so that in the coming days she could use the certificate to train other women entrepreneurs from her area. She expressed, “The training helped me understand that I should operate my business systematically. Also marketing and networking with other women entrepreneurs is important to succeed in any business”.

She feels physical training would have been more effective and expects such training from FWEAN in the future. She also added that financial accessibility is one of the major hurdles for a lot of women entrepreneurs, so information sharing and facilitation support would be required. 

She believes that many woman entrepreneurs still are motivated to do something but due to lack of knowledge, information and resources they are not able to move forward. Therefore, I hope FWEAN and ILO brings tailor made programs that directly supports women entrepreneurs and help them make their business stronger.  

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