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Hamri Didis add NCELL re-charge cards to their basket of goods
by: RAP 3      on: 14 Dec, 2018

NCELL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RAP3 CONNECT to offer over 400 women the opportunity to become retailers of NCELL re-charge cards.

“We are pleased to partner with RAP3 CONNECT to offer income generating opportunities to women starting in remote areas of Province 6 and 7 of Nepal. The partnership is in line with our commitment to create sustainable business opportunities to the communities we operate in, contributing in small ways we can to improve lives of people this initiative brings,” said Andy Chong, Chief Commercial Officer of Ncell.

The MoU will benefit women micro-entrepreneurs associated with RAP3 CONNECT by adding NCELL recharge cards in their sales basket, enabling them to function as retailers of the company. NCELL hopes this will support the women to secure sustainable incomes, and also enable some of them to build their business to sell e-charge and SIM cards in the future.

With the MoU, NCELL joins an existing partnership between RAP3 CONNECT, Unilever Nepal Limited (UNL), Bottlers Nepal Limited (BNL) and Prabhu Bank Limited (PBL) that is working to enable women in remote areas of Province 6 and 7 to establish small businesses. 

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RAP3 shares lessons from the CONNECT pilot with MDFN
by: RAP 3      on: 14 Dec, 2018

Yesterday, RAP3 hosted the 8th Market Development Forum Nepal (MDFN) learning event and presented lessons from the CONNECT pilot.

MDFN Convener, Mr Bharat Upadhyay, chaired the meeting and RAP3 CONNECT Team Leader, Ruth McPake presented on behalf of RAP3.  There followed an engaging discussion on CONNECT's approach to selecting partners, access to finance, organic certification and where CONNECT fits within the context of M4P.

MDFN was formed to enable like-minded development practitioners to share knowledge and experience, and to learn about new ideas for pro-poor market development.  Read more about the forum on their website (link is external)

Yuva Vayus to work as sales agents for local agrovets
by: RAP 3      on: 28 Nov, 2018

Yuva Vayus in Dailekh are taking another step towards sustainable income generation, becoming sales agents for local agrovets.

Yuva Vayus in Belpata Dairy Cooperative's supply chain can now sell veterinary medicines to farmers in their communities, earning commission between 2 and 10%.  Similarly, Yuva Vayus in Hatemalo Seed Promotion Cooperative's supply chain will sell seeds, fungicides and insecticides to local farming communities, earning comission on sales. Both agrovet's are offering Yuva Vayus 30 days credit on goods.

Yuva Vavyus are active young women who are currently engaged in activities being promoted by CONNECT partners and volunteered to take on leadership roles mobilising and energising the commercial farmer clusters they belong to.  Learn more about Yuva Vayus.

CONNECT team meet with Doti DCCI members
by: RAP 3      on: 27 Nov, 2018

Members of the CONNECT team were in Doti this week to meet with members of the District Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Earlier this year the District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in Doti elected six women to their Executive Committee.  Yesterday one woman and one man were appointed to the Committee under the reservation quota.  In total there are now seven (41%) female members on the Executive Committee.  This exceeds the 33% minimum reservation for women Executive Committee members recently adopted by the DCCI. 

Wayal Rural Municipality, Doti is implementing the same minimum reservation in their Municipal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), the first MCCI to be established in Doti.  A 13 member pre-election committee has been formed, including 5 female (38%) members, and the constitution which is being drafted will include a 33% minimum reservation for women Executive Committee members.   

The CONNECT team met with DCCI members and DCCI Executive Committee members to understand training and support needs of female Executive Committee members.  

KUSOM students present recommendations for rural businesses
by: RAP 3      on: 27 Nov, 2018

Earlier today, eight MBA students presented their recommendations for businesses in the Mid and Far West of Nepal. 

The MBA students from Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM) completed their three week Rural Enterprise Service (RES) placecments in Dailekh and Achham, facilitated by RAP3 CONNECT. The students worked with eight businesses, providing business consultancy services tailored to each business' needs.  

KUSOM MBA students are required to complete a three week RES placement as part of their MBA course.  This is the third batch of students to complete their RES placements with CONNECT.  CONNECT identifies businesses and, in collaboration with KUSOM, matches the students to each business based on needs and students' areas of specialism or interest.

Latest Bikash ko Bato episode discusses how small loans are benefitting farmers
by: RAP 3      on: 22 Nov, 2018

In the latest Bikash ko Bato episode we discuss how RAP3 CONNECT's partnership with Prabhu Bank Limited (PBL) is helping farmers and female entrepreneurs to open bank accounts and apply for loans at Government subsidised interest rates. 

Listen to the episode online - https://soundcloud.com/afn-antenna/bikash-ko-bato-14-4th-year

CONNECT with our partner, Organic Moutain Flavor (OMF) have collaborated with PBL to provide small loans for ginger farmers in Sahajpur, Doti.  A similar collaboration with Belpata Dairy Co-operative (BDC) and PBL in Dailekh is enabling dairy farmers to take loans and purchase livestock. And, CONNECT has introduced Hamri Didis to PBL branches so they too can apply for loans to scale their businesses. 

The episode discusses how loans have enabled ginger farmers to buy more seeds and use more land to cultivate ginger and turmeric; dairy farmers to purchase livestock that will increase their milk collection and how Hamri Didi's will use loans to scale their businesses.

6 dairy farmers in Dailekh have taken loans to purchase livestock
by: RAP 3      on: 21 Nov, 2018

Taking another step towards commercialisation, 6 dairy farmers in Dailekh have taken loans to purchase livestock and, in turn, increase their milk production capacity.

Belpata Dairy Co-operative and farmers in their down-stream supply chain identified a suitable supplier of murrah buffalo; Prabhu Bank Limited (PBL) have offered farmers loans at deprived sector lending rates; Prabhu Insurance have issued Government of Nepal subsidised livestock insurance and Dungeshower Rural Municipality co-invested to cover transportation costs. RAP3 CONNECT facilitated this collaboration between farmers, BDC, PBL, Prabhu Insurance and Dungeshower Rural Municipality which has made it possible for farmers to scale their production and established an arrangement that can be replicated by BDC and other farmers in their supply chain.

Farmer groups in Dailekh register with Municipal Government
by: RAP 3      on: 21 Nov, 2018

RAP3 CONNECT business partners in Dailekh, Hatemalo Seed Promotion Cooperative (HSPC) and Belpata Dairy Cooperative (BDC), have begun registering famer groups in their supply chains with the Municipal Government bodies.  To date, 10 HSPC farmer groups and 4 BDC farmer groups have been registered. 

Registering farmer groups with the Municipal Government will give farmers access to future training and support opportunities to help their shift to commercialisation and pave the way for CONNECT's exit.

Hamri Didis in Achham register their businesses with DCSI
by: RAP 3      on: 21 Nov, 2018

14 Hamri Didis in Achham have registered their businesses with the Department of Cottage and Small Industries (DCSI), Achham.

The DCSI was constituted under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MOICS) in 1974 to promote cottage and small industries and enhance their productivity.

Hear how District Chambers of Commerce and Industry are increasing female representation in latest bikash ko bato episode
by: RAP 3      on: 01 Nov, 2018

In the latest Bikash ko Bato episode we discuss RAP3 CONNECT’s advocacy for increased representation of women on District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Executive Committees. 

Listen online -

soundcloud.com/afn-antenna/bikash-ko-bato-11-4th-year

The episode highlights the policy reform implemented by some districts to reserve 33% seats for women on DCCI Executive Committees, the opportunity for women to sit on DCCI Executive Committees and the advantages and challenges of female members in Jumla, Dailekh, and Doti DCCIs.

The episode will also share news of the recent DCCI Executive Committee election in Doti where 7 women have been elected to the Executive Committee, surpassing the 33% minimum reservation.