The COVID-19 MSME fund Nepal has been launched by OTW in September of 2020. With the support from the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) and FMO Development Bank, OTW partnered up with Nabil Bank, NMB Bank, and Laxmi Bank for providing financial support. With the objective to support MSMEs by helping them access debt financing, the primary focus for the fund lies in Job retention and creation for the local community in the MSME sector of Nepal. The fund unlocks the potential for Nepali businesses to achieve a positive cash flow similar to pre-covid times. Using financial instruments like interest and collateral-free loans (bridge financing) to meet short-term working capital needs, recipients of the fund have benefited through three local partner banks. In addition to short-term financing, the fund provides business advisory/development services to help businesses improve their managerial and operational capabilities.
The beneficiaries of the fund have come from a wide range of sectors and industries in Nepal. As part of the business development activity, 10 virtual masterclasses with different companies have been organized to reduce the broader gaps across the various sectors. With the number of Covid cases slowly declining, One to Watch had the opportunity to organize an 'In-Person Masterclass’ for the first time. A total of 15 companies from various service sectors participated in this session which was conducted by Euden Koirala. She is a certified trainer and practitioner and is currently the Head of People and Organization at WaterAid Nepal.
The masterclass featured an interactive session on Service Marketing for customer acquisition and retention, something that has gained significant traction in the post-covid era. A fun-filled Experience sharing session in the workshop allowed the participating companies to mutually benefit themselves by a better understanding of local customer perception and needs. After the masterclass concluded, the participants agreed that irrespective of the leadership style in a company, one can still be an excellent service provider.
One of the participants, Kazi Studios quoted “The masterclass was a much-needed fun & interactive workshop which helped us to interact and network with like-minded entrepreneurs along with experience sharing on service. I would like to thank One to Watch for this opportunity!”