Started almost 3 and a half months ago, the 4th National Social Business Challenge 2019 has finally concluded with Dulwa.com as the winner. The crowd cheered as Mr. Nipun Shakya- the founder of Dulwa.com, walked towards the stage with utmost satisfaction and zeal on his face. Accordingly, he won Rs. 1,00,000, that will go towards funding his business, and a fully-funded trip to Switzerland to pitch at World Innovation Forum. Dulwa.com aims to become a platform where travelers can access authentic and reliable information about unexplored and untouched places in Nepal.
The National Social Business Challenge is an annual program focused on promoting social entrepreneurship and job creation in Nepal. It is organized by Yunus Social Business Centre Nepal, King’s College in collaboration with like-minded organizations and aims to foster the most feasible ideas that help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year, 12 boot camps were conducted in 12 different places of Nepal that covered all five provinces. The main objective was to welcome as many participants as possible from all parts of Nepal in order to promote social entrepreneurship in cities other than the capital. The boot camps were conducted in Biratnagar, Dharan, Birgunj, Janakpur, Chitwan, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Butwal, Dang, Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Dhangadi.
A total of 154 complete applications were received from all over Nepal comprising of diverse participants in terms of their geography, gender, age, education, sector and more. 80 ideas were selected in the first selection round, 53 in the second and 10 in the final round. The selection committee comprised of Yunus Social Business Center, King’s College and representatives from the partner institutions. Furthermore, the ideas were judged based on five major criteria viz. Team, Social Purpose, Innovation, Business Model and Scalability, and Impact. Thus, the team that scored the highest points in all of these criteria were given the green light.
The top 10 finalists for 4th National Social Business Challenge 2019 were Leaf Plus, Dulwa.com, SMBP Biodegradable Diapers, Art Bazaar, Digital Sathi, Aawas, Timro Kawadiwala, Community Seed, Shipalu Haat, and Sapana. These ideas covered issues such as waste management, agriculture in Nepal, trade, literacy, health, and hygiene, tourism in Nepal, and sustainable living. As each of them was competitive and had innovative solutions to pressing problems in Nepal, everyone was excited to find out what would happen in the grand finals.
Scheduled on the 28th and 29th of August 2019, the SBC finals was a two days event that comprised of welcoming the finalists, shedding light on the importance of SDGs, panel discussions on important topics, idea pitching, and announcement of the winners- overall and thematic.
Day 1 was mostly about welcoming the participants and panel discussions on two important topics- The The Role of Government in Fostering Entrepreneurship & achieving SDGs and Role of the Private Sector in Fostering Entrepreneurship & achieving SDGs. The panelists for the first panel discussion, which was moderated by Ms. Bivishika Bhandari from HCI, were Dr. Puspa Raj Kadel- Vice-Chairman of National Planning Commission, Mr. Narottam Aryal- President of King’s College, Mr.Pawan Golyan- Chairman of NMB Bank Limited, Mr. Prakash Dahal- Joint Secretary Ministry of Labour and Employment and Mr. Kiran Pandit- Director of Nepal Rastra Bank. The panelists for the second-panel discussion, which was moderated by Barsha Dharel, were Ms. Thryza Dow- CEO at Blincvenutres.com, Mr. Khem Lakai representative of World Innovations Forum Foundation and Director of Global Academy of Tourism and Hospitality Education, and Ms. Bahar Kumar- Director of Nepal Communitere.
Day 2 had a lot of exciting activities starting with an Innovation fair where social enterprises working to solve problems in different sectors showcased their products/services. Some of them were Antidote Nepal, Blue Waste 2 Value, Tyrocity, Revive, Eco Cell, Nuga essence, Ecoorb, Whpedia, and Sochai. The program formally started with a video journey of SBC 2019 followed by a welcome note from Mr. Ashutosh Tiwari- MD at Safal Partners, top 10 finalists’ pitches, slam poetry and concluded with the winner announcement. In between the event, winners of last year’s Social Business Challenge- Upcycle Nepal and Whpedia and Youth Co: Lab- Aeroroots, shared their success stories and experience so far. Finally, the event concluded successfully with Dulwa.com as the winner.
Yunus Social Business Center will be back next year with the 5th National Social Business Challenge with more boot camps in different parts of Nepal. Stay tuned!
Article written by Yangzum Lama