Imagine a world where people live in peace and harmony, where everybody dares to dream. Wonderful, right? That’s what Saira Khadka dreams of doing with her idea- Sapana, literally translated as a dream.
She envisions to create a society where everyone works together for mutual benefit and the greater good. She says that Sapana would be a platform for everyone to execute their dream for themselves.
1. Tell me about your journey of starting your venture?
Knowingly or unknowingly I was associated with social work since childhood. I used to see the differently-abled people singing on the roadside and asking people for help. This used to pinch me, and I used to ask myself “what have I done for society?”
Fast forward, while taking online courses at Harvard University on child protection, child practice and theory, I was encouraged to look into different aspects of things.
That is when the idea to help the people who have been neglected came to my mind. If someone is physically disabled then they could do other alternative work; if someone’s hearing is impaired, they could still be trained to be a barista. This would help them to become independent and their disability won’t be a hindrance anymore.
2. Can you tell us about Sapana?
We as a society have failed to include differently-abled people, and people from the LGBTQ community as our society’s indispensable part. Despite this exclusion, they have succeeded in making their lives better. My aim is to develop a platform where we can provide education, and day to day training to differently-abled people to support them achieve their goals.
With Sapna, my purpose is not to gain profit but to give a profitable lesson that we have been neglecting in our society for a very long time.
3. What social change do you see your product or service bringing in society?
By creating equal standards in economic and educational level, I want to eradicate discrimination and inequality. Through my entrepreneurship, I will provide that platform to the neglected part of the society and also change society’s mindset.
4. What stage is the company in? How do you plan to raise funds to start your company?
It is currently in the ideation phase and I am planning to execute it once I get the needed funding.
I am planning to collaborate with the government and other concerned ministries and organizations involved in providing rights to the neglected communities.
5. What challenges do you foresee coming?
Motivating people from different communities to voice their opinions can be a bit of a challenge initially. There might be a communication gap and I may not be able to put my intention forward properly or train them adequately.
Likewise, people might not always trust us in what we are doing. Apart from this, I might also have to face financial challenges.
6. How do you plan to overcome your challenges?
I have been planning to involve students from hotel management and business sector to teach and train the neglected communities.
We will take training to become disabled-friendly for example, we’ll learn sign languages to train the hearing impaired people, braille to help the visually impaired people, all of which will help us tackle the communication gap. Furthermore, I will also get volunteers to train selected communities.
7. Who will be your target customers? Will the business model be based on self-sufficiency or profit-making?
Although our primary target will be youth, we would consider every member of the community as the target customers.
I will be working with beverages and bakery shops to provide training and to provide placement for job opportunities.
8. What is your future plan with Sapana? Do you consider yourself as a Social Entrepreneur?
I had initially thought of opening a beverage shop run by differently-abled people, but now I want to help differently-abled people achieve their career goals. I plan to train them and provide them a platform where they can execute the training received.
I do consider myself as a social entrepreneur but that also depends on how well I am capable of executing my idea.
9. How will you measure the impact of your product/service?
When the differently-abled people and people neglected in the community are treated equally, I would say that Sapana has made a positive impact on society. Apart from this, if people follow their dreams in spite of what others have to say, I would say that Sapana is on the right path to achieve its goal.
For more information about this idea, you can reach Saira Khadka at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Sadikshya Shrestha and edited by Shambhavi Singh.