Open for Business

Mamata B.K., a married mother of two from southern Nepal, used to dream of opening up her own shop and becoming a business woman. But as a female growing up as a Dalit—a marginalized caste considered as an “untouchable”—her prospects of fulfilling her dream were slim. Then one day, she enrolled in a USAID training program for women in which she learned leadership and small business development skills, joined a savings and loan group, and used seed money to open up a small retail shop in her village.

Video Transcript 
I was a little bit mischievous growing up. Sometimes I would skip school and go play by the river. I thought it was fun until I failed first grade. And then all of my friends continued to second grade. That’s when my mom sat me down and told me 'I can't build your future for you, but I can give you opportunity.' I realized I was wasting the opportunity she had given, so I started working harder I still thought I had limited opportunities. One day, a woman came to our village and taught us how to set up our own businesses. And then, I got an idea. But I didn’t have the money to start my own business. After that, we set up a women’s group. And then she gave us seed money to start our own businesses. That’s all I needed. The women in our village would walk for two hours uphill to get supplies from the local farmers market. On the first day, I sold around 50 percent of my products.I was happy and I was inspired to do more business. Now, I tell my daughter “Don’t waste time and opportunities. Who knows what you will be able to achieve in the future.” USAID EMPOWERS WOMEN IN MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES OF NEPAL BY TEACHING THEM HOW TO SAVE MONEY AND START SMALL BUSINESSES.

Last updated: November 22, 2017

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