Kathmandu, September 14, 2017: The 16th edition of International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) Conference with the theme “Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Economic Development” has kicked off from Thursday here in Kathmandu. Hosted by King’s College, a leading business school in Nepal, in collaboration with Essex Business School (EBS), London, the event was inaugurated by Minister for Irrigation, Sanjay Kumar Gautam.
Minister Gautam said that organization of IEF Conference in Nepal was aptly timed given the urgent need of promotion of entrepreneurship in the country. Referring to the outflow of migration from Nepal to abroad, he stressed on the need of alternative livelihood through entrepreneurship which according to him should be made sustainable for achieving individual and national success.
Key note speaker, Professor of Essex Business School Jay Mitra said that entrepreneurship is essentially about economic, social, cultural and personal value creation, and sustainability is about innovating out of the status quo to create value now and for in the future. Calling for robust solution to problems he emphasized the sustainable use of resources of people, technologies, and new forms of financial, social and environmental capital. He stated that both research and education as the key to understanding the market, the environment and society.
Addressing the inaugural session, National Planning Commission (NPC) Chairman, Dr Yuwaraj Khatiwada shed light on sustainable development goals and Nepal’s efforts towards achieving them. Stating that institutional set ups in Nepal was hindering to achieve some of the SDGs, he suggested retrofitting those set ups should be done meticulously. He further added that in a bid to help achieve the goals, the government prepared a National Report in 2015 and that the goals have also been included in 14th National Plan so as to prioritize works for achieving the goals.
As much as 500 national and foreign delegates from over 20 countries including academicians, students, entrepreneurs, experts, researchers and practitioners from corporate houses, multilateral and bilateral partners attended the first day conference that will last till September 16.
This is the first time that the IEF Conference has been organized in Nepal with an objective to promote the entrepreneurial culture and push forward entrepreneurship sector.
Began in 2001 from Naples of Italy, the annual IEF Conference has already been organized in countries including, China, India, South Africa, Colombia, Turkey, Bahrain, Italy, Lithuania and Latvia.
The 3-day conference includes plenary and panel sessions, presentations and discussions of academic research, policy driven and reflective practitioner-oriented papers, empathy and networking interlude, social interaction and awards for best papers. Apart from them, the Conference has also featured 13 stalls to showcase 10 best entrepreneurial products under the MEDEP.
On the second day on Friday, five videos relating to entrepreneurial journey of aspiring and successful entrepreneurs and enterprises will also be screened.
According to the College, a total of 60 papers, including 30 international papers, based on sub-themes of entrepreneurship versus sustainable entrepreneurship, values of sustainable entrepreneurship, business start-up and sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurship and development and growth and women in sustainable entrepreneurship, among others, will be presented during the Conference.
“Nepal, a country with bountiful resources has still not been able to properly harness them in sustainable way to ensure better socio-economic development,” King’s College Principal, Narottam Aryal said, “We need many entrepreneurs to step in with their innovative entrepreneurial solutions to cope with the challenges sustainably.
Because of the impression and impact the college had made last year by hosting International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, it was chosen to host the IEF Conference, according to the organizer which also expressed belief that conference like this with its global impact and long history would help to add energy to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Nepal.