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Chaudhary Foundation, LCIF announce $500k investment

Kathmandu,November 18, 2016: Chaudhary Foundation and Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) have announced they will invest $500,000 in 2017 for the promotion of social business in the country.

At a press meet here on Wednesday, Chaudhary Foundation’s chief executive Nirvana Chaudhary and LCIF’s International Director Sanjay Khetan announced the amount will be spent for the second implementation phase of Nepal Social Business (NSB) projects.

NSB, a joint initiative of Chaudhary Group and LCIF started in 2014, has expedited social business projects for social and economic welfare of communities in rural parts of Nepal.

Among 100 social businesses incubated in the first phase through extensive training and mentoring, 12 projects have qualified for funding. The projects are primarily based in western parts of the country. NSB provides financial resources to local entrepreneurs who have business ideas but lack start-up funds.

Karnali Miteri Udyog (Jumla), Organic Fruit and Food Processing (Jumla), Dang Hosiery and Garment (Dang), Bageshwori Bahudeshiya Krishi Farm (Salyan), Mahalaxmi Jhola Udhyog (Kailali), and Ajaymeru Tamrakar Bhadabartan (Dadeldhura) and six eco-lodge projects in Dolpa are among the projects that have qualified for NSB funding. More projects are in the pipeline.

“We believe developing local entrepreneurship will significantly help Nepal’s rural communities to be self-reliant,” said Chaudhary. “Social business can be a means of social transformation. Chaudhary Foundation is committed to helping Nepali rural societies be economically sustainable by helping them develop social business projects at the local level.”

On the occasion, Khetan expressed confidence the Nepal Social Business initiative would be instrumental in changing the economic and social spectrum of Nepal. “NSB will invest on those upcoming entrepreneurs who have an enterprising mind and zeal to start business with social impact,” he said.

Stating LCIF was satisfied with social business projects in Nepal, LCIF Trustee NS Sankaran hoped the projects would contribute towards uplifting economic condition of rural communities.

Primarily concerned with social welfare, a social business project aims to develop social entrepreneurship through training, mentoring, and funding of potential local entrepreneurs. Investors do not share dividend and the profit is continuously used for re-investment into the project.

The concept of social business was developed and first introduced by Nobel Peace Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh. It has now been successfully implemented in many countries worldwide.