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A candid conversation with – LEADERites from Canada

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A team of five people from Ivey School of Business, Canada partnered with Nepal Young Entrepreneurs Forum to conduct Leader Project in Nepal. The project took the form of a two-week long workshop on business plan development. This was the 5th edition of Leader Project conducted in Nepal and we have compiled a candid conversation with the LEADERites from Canada.

The team of LEADER Project which worked in Nepal from April 22nd to May 3rd continuously guided forty enthusiastic participants. It aimed to develop local business solutions which would create a ripple of opportunities in Nepal.

Here is an exclusive from a candid conversation with the LEADERite team. Let’s know what they observed and felt about youth, education, and entrepreneurship in Nepal during their two-week journey.

1. Since a very important component of the LEADER Project has been the case study method of teaching and learning. What do you think are the advantages of learning with case studies especially in the field of entrepreneurship?

Case Study method helps one become a fearless decision maker which is one of the key requirements of being an entrepreneur. The case study method helps the students understand that they will never have full and complete information when they run a business. And they will have to make certain assumptions and become comfortable with some kind of ambiguity surrounding them all the time.

What you learn through the case study method, it remains with you forever which brings the tint of practicality into learning. Decision makers often face ambiguity while making decisions. One can relate their situation to that of the decision maker of the case study method and take decisions accordingly.

The case study method teaches students that there doesn’t have to be one right and perfect solution to a problem. There could be different ways of solving a problem. And all of these solutions are going to have their own implications. This method of teaching and learning teaches the students that it is okay for different people to have different perspectives on an issue.

2. You have experience in the Ivey School of Business in Canada. Can you tell us some important things that can be done to improvise the education system of Nepal?

‘Learning by doing’ is the key to having a progressive and practical education system. Students need to build skills within themselves alongside learning theoretical concepts. This would help them when they move onto fieldwork in the future.

We observed that companies like ‘Karkhana’ are doing amazing work trying to inculcate hands-on-experience within the education system of Nepal. They are training students to learn through a multi-disciplinary approach. They are also giving the students a chance to learn by doing things than by memorizing what’s written in the books.

3. According to you, how developed is the start-up ecosystem of Nepal?

We were very happy to see that there is already a lot of educational entrepreneurship system that exists in Nepal. More and more entrepreneurial boot camps are appearing in regular intervals. We are hopeful that such events and boot camps will become even more pervasive with time.

The most amazing thing about Nepal’s startup ecosystem is the feeling of community that people have within their heart. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in Nepal that already exist. And the startup entrepreneurs are helpful to each other which has been the most heartwarming thing to observe.

4. According to you, what is the most important element that any entrepreneur requires to venture into a successful business?

Whenever the term ‘entrepreneurship’ comes up, many of us get very excited about our idea all at once. It is good to be passionate about any work that you do. However, below all of this excitement one crucial requirement is planning and setting a clear roadmap.

It is crucial to have a set of a plan for every portion of the business – for marketing, for operations, for human resources, and for cash flow generation. Such plans should execute in an organized manner within a specific time frame. Upon planning well all of these functions, business ventures turn successful and establish firmly.

5. In respect to what you observed and witnessed during the two-week long journey of LEADER Project, do you think that the Nepalese young minds are well-guided to begin their own entrepreneurial journey?

There is a lot of passion for entrepreneurship among the young minds of Nepal. They all are very eager to learn from each other and utilize the opportunities for ‘Networking’.

In fact, when we talk about the entrepreneurial culture itself, the culture here in Nepal is quite different from the entrepreneurial culture of Western states like Canada and the United States.

There are a lot of people in Nepal who have their family businesses and then later join it and add value to it and for the ones that don’t have any family business, they build an entrepreneurial venture out of the resources they possess.

On the other hand, in places like Canada, large corporations dominate the workspace. This is why most of the young people look forward to becoming a part of those corporate houses. This discourages to starting their own entrepreneurial venture.

It is really great to see the burning passion for entrepreneurship within the young minds of Nepal.

6. While in your journey of conducting the Leader Project, you also must have explored Nepal. What do you think of Nepal as a tourism hub?

Nepal possesses a lot of history. Every day is a new day here in Nepal. We visited various temples and stupas here and each one of those had a different history. The architectural infrastructure and the hospitality that people have here enticed us the most.

Furthermore, the most amazing thing we noticed during our travel journey to Nepal has been the unity in diversity. While we learned about the history of Nepal, we learned that though are so many different cultures and religions that exist in Nepal. And also, the manner with which they all co-exist together in harmony is just so intriguing.