Dashain is a blessing for entrepreneurs. With the challenges that come with a global crisis, this pandemic has made people more entrepreneurial. It has taught us that we need to think slightly differently and that we are more connected than we realize.
Entrepreneurship is a mindset, and it should be driven by discipline and knowledge, persistence and passion. The pandemic has encouraged many people to come up with new ideas and ways of earning their means. While we saw a share market boom in Kathmandu, it was the small-scale daily use product business that blossomed in remote cities and villages. Small-scale and micro businesses have proliferated to a point where 70 percent of Nepal’s economy is dependent on them.
The pandemic has taught us that we can’t always depend on traditional ways of buying and selling and our businesses can’t thrive if limited to a place or a way of thinking. We are more interdependent than independent.
New small-scale businesses had to face huge barriers due to the ongoing crisis. But I believe being able to get through the crisis already gives them a sense of invincibility.
Now we know how to use knowledge to create something big. We need more job creators than job seekers. We need to be the ones to start moving when everything stops. One thing to always keep in mind as an entrepreneur is that this could happen again, am I ready for it? Is our country ready?
This Dashain is a time for transition and the beginning of the process of settling in with the new normal. We need more entrepreneurs, social innovators, investors, and more people telling their stories. This is a chance for us to move forward from the losses we faced and the businesses that had to be closed down to create new, better businesses that adapt with the times and surroundings.
I am looking forward to new opportunities the pandemic will bring, new platforms built on a value-based goal that is fully aware of the global situation, by finding ways to incorporate modern trends with traditional ideologies.
In the case of the businesses that closed down and all the people who lost their jobs, I believe the government should research their numbers and statistics and create packages to support them in sustaining their families and reviving their businesses.
The new normal requires mass business counselors to help entrepreneurs figure out how they can pick themselves up. There should be a policy that the government can give out a certain amount of loan. Those who have already started a business should get extra support to rekindle their knowledge.
Now, we need to use our resilience to adapt to the new normal. Every business should try to maintain a parallel path with the change in time and environment. I hope those businesses that started in the pandemic will re-invest in scaling up and diversifying in different sectors so as to add value to people’s lives.
I hope we come out of this with better ways to overcome the challenges, not in the next few months, but in the next few years. I have faith in the young people as they have the capability for that transformation, even though our system needs to invest in them more. We need to build a system that is robust enough to face another crisis.
I am optimistic that entrepreneurial mindsets will prevail, and with more involvement, cooperation between policy, knowledge, and practice, we will see a bigger transformation.