On October 1st, 2023, the Award Day for the Climate Smart Entrepreneurship project, part of Nepali Yuwa in Climate Action and Green Growth (NYCAGG), took place at Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal. This event aimed to select the top six winners from a pool of 20 outstanding participants. Organized by CREASION, the lead organization for the Climate Smart Entrepreneurship component of NYCAGG, the project is funded by the European Union. NYCAGG focuses on empowering youths aged 15-29 by providing them a platform to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills in the green economy sector and engage in disaster and climate-related governance and advocacy.
The event was graced by prominent figures such as Hon’ble Vice-Chairman of the Karnali Province Planning Commission, Mr. Yogendra Bahadur Shahi, Secretary of the Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, Karnali Pradesh, Mr. Anand Saaru, Vice President of the National Youth Council, Mr. Surendra Basnet, Program Manager at the European Union in Nepal Ms. Rosalba Tuseo, Founder and President of CREASION, Mr. Aanand Mishra, Executive Committee Member of FNCCI, Ms. Siya Karki Pradhan, Executive Director of Youth Innovation Lab, Mr. Pradip Khatiwada, and Founder of Kopila Valley School, Ms. Maggie Doyne.
The Climate Smart Entrepreneurship project selected 20 innovative ideas from Karnali Province and nurtured them through expert sessions and peer mentoring. You can explore these ideas here: (https://theyouthcan.org/climate-smart-entrepreneurship/idea-repository). During the award ceremony, the Top 20 participants presented their Climate Smart Enterprises to an audience consisting of provincial government representatives, EU representatives, students, and members of the media. The pitching session was evaluated by Mr. Surendra Basnet, Ms. Siya Karki Pradhan, and Mr. Anand Saaru.
Mr. Pradip Khatiwada, Executive Director of Youth Innovation Lab, briefed the audience about the NYCAGG project, its vision, and its achievements thus far. Additionally, Ms. Agrima Kc, the Innovation Coordinator for the Climate Smart Entrepreneurship project, provided motivational remarks to encourage and express gratitude to all 20 participants. Following the pitching presentations, distinguished guests offered their insights and announced the six winners of the Innovation Grant 2023, each worth NPR 1,25,000, to be invested in their businesses.
The six selected ideas for the Innovation Grant 2023 are as follows:
1. AG Ventures, led by the team of Sanjina Giri and Prisilla Giri
2. Recreate and Reuse, led by Rupa Rijal
3. Hariyo Marchya, led by the team of Kushal Bam and Raj Kumar Bam
4. Eco Revive, led by the team of Sushma Paudel, Sudarshan Paudel, and Sushmita Paudel
5. Hair to Fertilizer, led by the team of Nawaraj Pandey, Priya Karna, and Babu Raj Rokaya
6. Kanduk Industries, led by the team of Sandesh Gairhe, Sanket Dhungel, Manish Sapkota, and Roshan Ojha
Hon’ble Vice-Chairman of Karnali Province Planning Commission, Mr. Yogendra Bahadur Shahi, emphasized the significance of addressing climate change and urged youth to take the lead. He congratulated the winners and stressed the importance of considering the long-term impact of their activities. These six ideas not only create employment opportunities but also foster innovation and address pressing societal concerns.
Mr. Anand Saaru, Secretary of the Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, Karnali Pradesh, expressed his commitment to future collaborations that promote sustainability among young entrepreneurs. He was inspired by the talents and passion of the participants and pledged further support for such programs.
Mr. Surendra Basnet, Vice President of the National Youth Council, highlighted the alignment between Youth Vision 2025 and Climate Smart Entrepreneurship. He encouraged participants to continue their entrepreneurial journey and contribute to Nepal's green economy. The National Youth Council remains dedicated to empowering Nepalese youth through various programs.
Ms. Rosalba Tuseo, Program Manager from the European Union, acknowledged the global challenge posed by climate change and emphasized that youth are the solution. She commended the project as a model for promoting climate smart entrepreneurship and thanked all consortium partners and participants for their passionate and hardworking contributions.
Closing the event, Mr. Aanand Mishra, Founder and President of CREASION, expressed gratitude to the distinguished guests, the organizing team, and the participants for their incredible and innovative ideas. He encouraged youth to continue sharing their ideas and addressing climate change through innovation, emphasizing that all top 20 participants are winners, and this event marks the beginning of an inspiring climate smart journey.