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NYEF conducts National Policy Dialogue 2024

Ashika Pokharel
Ashika Pokharel February 29, 2024, 1:41 pm
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KATHMANDU: Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum (NYEF) in collaboration with International Labour Organization (ILO) and South Asia Leadership in Entrepreneurship Project (SALE) conducted a national policy dialogue where representatives from government sector, private sector, research institute, universities, college students and media persons were present.

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Office of the Prime Minister and council ministers secretary Eknarayan Aryal, Joint Secretary Khom Raj Koirala, Ministry of Finance Joint Secretary Dhani Ram Sharma, Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies Joint Secretary Jiblal Bhusal, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Senior Vice President Anjan Shrestha, ILO National Project Coordinator Prakash Sharma, NYEF President Sahara Joshi, NYEF Immediate Past President Ritesh Lamicchane, NYEF First Vice-President Khusal Sundar Shrestha, NYEF Second Vice-President Nivita Pradhan were the guests for the programme.

Abhushan Jyoti Kansakar, executive member of NYEF, emphasised the importance of policy dialogue as a bridge between young entrepreneurs and policymakers in his keynote speech. He discussed the potential of startups to boost GDP, citing various facts, figures, and international data. Kansakar stated, "For any startup to be successful, it should consider seven aspects: innovation, funding and scaling, policies and regulations, first movers advantage, government focus on entrepreneurship, incubators and accelerators, and financial assistance."

OPMCM Secretary Aryal expressed his interest in conducting similar dialogues at the provincial and local levels to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem beyond Kathmandu Valley. He said, "If we truly want to build entrepreneurs, our primary focus should be on developing their skills rather than solely providing academic education." He further pledged to create a platform where youths can easily contribute their ideas to policymaking.

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In the panel discussion moderated by Lajula Maharjan, Principal Associate of Pioneer Law Associates focused on the roles of private and government sector in bringing policy-level changes in the country.

MoICS Joint Secretary Bhusal asserted that the government is actively working on policy development, with a focus on defining startups, their administration, necessary facilities, and reforming existing policies. He also revealed that the government has prepared a new Company Code (Ain).

 

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MoF Joint Secretary Sharma shared his thoughts on the lack of awareness among people regarding startups and emphasised the need to educate them.

Following this, a question and answer session was held. Individuals from various backgrounds posed questions, which were answered by the panellists. Key takeaways included: the startup laws have already been submitted to the cabinet; efforts are underway to establish an Incubation Centre; private sectors, research institutions and the government sector can work hand in hand; first-generation entrepreneurs are a major focus of NYEF, who are provided with mentorship.

NYEF President Joshi, in her closing remarks, said, "Despite NYEF's 20-year history, we are still striving to have our voice heard in policymaking. This dialogue was important for us to share our vision closely with the government. I agree that much needs to be done; this is just a baby step we have taken. All sectors need to work hand in hand."

She further emphasised the importance of recognising the work done by the youth. She said, "We do not always seek financial assistance; sometimes we need recognition for the work we are doing. Youth are innovative and hopeful that the country will create a favourable environment for them. Let's not extinguish that hope."

The programme concluded with a networking.

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