U.S. Government's Business Literacy Program Transforms Rural Nepali Women into Successful Entrepreneurs

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Snapshot of Achievements

  • 51,539 beneficiaries graduated.
  • 37,580 (73%) of beneficiaries initiated new business or expanded the sales of goods and services.
  • 35,056 (68%) of beneficiaries improved their nutritional behavior.

Guleriya, 19 January 2017 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) marked the successful completion of its Business Literacy Program, which is part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative in Nepal. The three-year, $4 million project provided over 51,000 people in Nepal – over 90 percent of whom are women and many of whom come from disadvantaged communities – with training to help them earn income, access financial services, and improve their nutrition.

Over the past five years, over 37,000 project participants initiated or expanded their businesses, including commercial vegetable farming, poultry and livestock farming, and other retail shops. The project also established women’s groups and helped them access credit and save their earnings. By the end of the project, over two-thirds of participants and their families demonstrated enhanced health, nutrition, and educational status.

More than 2,000 trainers will remain as a resource within their communities after the project ends. The project was implemented in rural areas of 20 districts, in close collaboration with the Government of Nepal, and it enabled rural households to improve agriculture practices or engage in market activity and formal markets.

“The Business Literacy Program demonstrated that entrepreneurial literacy tied to agriculture training can play a significant role in increasing productivity and moving farmers towards commercial agriculture. This project has changed people’s thinking – farms are no longer perceived as just sources of food, but as enterprises,” said Ms. Carol Jenkins, Director of USAID/Nepal’s Social, Environmental and Economic Development Office, said at the event closing ceremony.