This has been the year of reaching new heights and forming new connections. With 777 unique people reached during our sourcing period and 208 applications, it would be correct to say that it was a glorious beginning for the fourth year of the Rockstart Impact Program.
We believe that one cannot do anything in a vacuum; nor can the start-up and business scene in Nepal improve without partnerships and collaborations between those looking to develop it. Thus, at the beginning of this year’s program, on August, we announced a new collaboration with DFID and Nepal Communitere. With this collaboration we hoped to address the needs of the Nepali entrepreneur and support the development of entrepreneurship in Nepal. Much recently, in November, to further support Nepali entrepreneurs we joined forces with SAFAL Partners. Through this partnership, we are hoping to strengthen the support system for the entrepreneurs, which will help them throughout their journey, and take these future Nepali business leaders to the next level.
The application for this year closed on October 8th, and the 100 day program began as of November 6th.The 20th of November saw the start of our Mentor Week, one of the key periods in Rockstart Impact program filled with workshops, brainstorms, one-on-one coaching and networking events where the International and local mentors got to interact with the ten Rockstart Impact companies. The main goal of the week was to help the companies develop and set new strategies that would boost their business. Throughout the week, the entrepreneurs were constantly getting feedback not only from the industry leaders mentoring them but also from fellow entrepreneurs in the program. By the end of the Mentor Week, the entrepreneurs got matched with specific mentors who will be coaching the entrepreneurs through their journey to Demo Day. At the end of the Mentor Week, on November 24th, an Inspirational Talk by Amuda Mishra was held at G.G Machan.
We believe that talking to, interacting and sharing stories with successful entrepreneurs help the younger generation of entrepreneurs to stay true to their aim and power-on through any troubles that they may face. To create such an environment we host Inspirational Talks during our program. These interactive sessions often feature entrepreneurs who not only have had financial success, but also have created an impact in the communities they operate. The inspirational speaker for this session was Amuda Mishra.
Amuda Mishra was listed as one of the Women to Watch by WOW magazine in 2016, and her accomplishments certainly attest to it. Amuda, herself is also an entrepreneur, in 2017 she co-founded DOCHAA – A Nepali shoe company that employs local artisans and makes shoes using local fabrics. However, since 2013, she has been working on projects promoting sustainable development, gender-inclusive leadership and community empowerment in rural Nepal. In 2013 she founded the Ujyalo Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on sustainable development in Nepal. She is also the initiator of programs like ‘EmpowerHER’ a leadership and idea incubation program for young women, and ‘NiDARR’ the only smartphone-enabled gender-based violence reporting tool in Nepal.