Apr 212015

Since the end of the Maoist conflict: Chinese investment and trade only up

Since the end of the Maoist conflict: Chinese investment and trade is only going up

India is by far Nepal’s biggest foreign investor and trading partner historically. But China is catching up more than ever. Last year, Nepal’s big neighbour to the north invested more money than India for the first time! In addition, though India is still ahead in commerce, accounting for 53 percent of Nepal’s foreign trade, it’s share is down from 60 percent in 2006, while China’s share is up from just 3 percent to 31 percent! In other words, since the end of the Maoist conflict, Chinese investment and trade in Nepal has been going only up. How is that visible out in the districts? Well, here are the latest major examples. Continue reading »

Mar 212015

Willingness to take risks going up: scene from traditional agriculture

Willingness to take risks going up: scene from traditional agriculture

“Agriculture in Nepal is always risky and therefore if you try to change something it becomes even riskier”. Whoever said that – and many did – has a good point. But it also seems that the willingness to try something new at local level is growing. New entrepreneurial initiatives in the local economy are now frequently turning up in the news. Indeed, climate change is drying up the land or causing devastating floods; out-migration is leaving villages half-abandoned and the local labour force depleted; unemployment is soaring more than ever. Nonetheless, local entrepreneurs in districts around the country keep taking risks as they jump into steadily new ventures! Continue reading »

Mar 152013
"Michael built it" - a local beneficiary

“Michael built it”: a local beneficiary

We once chatted with some villagers at a teashop about the topic of “development”. Had anything been achieved in their community? Sure, everybody agreed, there was something. Well, of course there was still much to do about the road and the electricity which didn’t reach to their remote part of the VDC. But at least they now had a local school: now the kids no longer had to hike all the way down the hill. The school was next door – a bit small perhaps, only with two teachers, but it was good enough until grade 7. What was unusual about their account of local development was not the school, but who built it. “A guy called Michael”, the Ward Chairman began. “He came Continue reading »

Mar 132013
A sewing business

A sewing business

How do you start up a business if you live in a village? Of course it depends on a lot of things. But consider the basics for a moment. Indeed, it’s also hard to be a successful businessman in the city. Living in an urban community does give you certain advantages, like a fairly big market in the shape of lots of people, as well as, say, better infrastructure and easier access to information, even faster internet connection and mobile phone networks. Yet, in the city, getting the “business idea” and making it materialise can be really hard too. However, if you look at a village community, multiply that a couple of times! It is so much harder off the main roads, far away from banks and Continue reading »

Jan 282013

DSC02819The government self-employment programme was supposed to create 50.000 jobs but barely made it to 2.000! The facebook page for the programme did not even get a single entry and just a handful of likes. So what’s next for creating youth employment in Nepal’s districts? The future of job creation and self-employment is a question hanging as a dark cloud over the youth in many parts of the country. We want to cover this issue as much as we can. Stay tuned this spring and summer as we hit a number of districts and get the take of young people on the job and self- employment outlook. Even better, are you one of the many youth struggling to find Continue reading »