UAE-Nepal Connect Social Innovation Boot-camp organized in Kathmandu

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UAE-Nepal Connect Social Innovation Boot-camp organized in Kathmandu

June 10, 2017, 

A 9 day-long social innovation boot camp, UAE-Nepal Connect, UNC2017, was organized by INNOCO from June 2-10 at ICA Training Center, Koteshwor. The boot camp, according to the organizers, focused on the main theme of Innovation and Co-designing  (INNOCO) through connection, collaboration and contribution. UNC2017 was a follow-up of UNC2016, which culminated into six youths- as the core team members of Nepal Youth Cluster (NYC) Kathmandu; Monica Amatya, Saroj Basnet, Prachi Badu, Pabitra Majhi, Bijay Sunar, and Shaheera Pandey, who were responsible to co-deliver the this year’s edition.


UNC2017 was co-organized by INNOCO and Nepal Youth Council in partnership with Leadership Corner, Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), Nepal National Innovation Center and Nepal Communautaire from Nepal, LAGI from the USA and Zayed University from UAE.  

The event, on June 2, opened with Mahabir Pun’s opening speech inspiring the participants to think differently and innovate for impact. 19 applicants were selected based on their interests and commitment towards social innovation. Various elements of social innovation and entrepreneurship like design thinking, using innovation space, applying business model canvas to refine the business idea and pitching one's ideas effectively were covered during the nine days by experienced entrepreneurs and facilitators from Korea, India, Lebanon, USA, France, and Nepal.


The participants learned how to build their enterprise using the Social Business Model Canvas (SBMC) and were assisted by hands-on activities such as value challenge, site research, and interviews to validate their assumptions. Yunsun Chung-Shin, Joanne Renaux, Sara Shedid, Robert Ferry, and Amin Matni facilitated the formation of 10 social enterprise ideas to pitch to the invited panelist from various local stakeholders.

Various activities and training culminated into different business ideas related to various pressing issues like women empowerment, agriculture, eco-tourism, waste management and child education. Participants were further inspired and empowered by local and international social innovators through a Talk Series. Robert Ferry (Land and Art Generator Initiative), Prashant Singh (Himalayan Climate Initiative), Madan Rai (eco-tourism activist), Bikram Pun (Mushroom King), Sandeep Paudel (Helvatas Nepal), Hardik Subedi (No Thanks, I carry my own bag !), and Saurav Dhakal (gogreenonline) were some of the noted inspirers.


Furthermore, the participants worked on their ideas throughout the program and pitched their business ideas in front of esteemed judges representing entrepreneurs from various walks of life. The invited judges had queries answered and encouraging feedbacks to the new entrepreneurs on the block who said they were pretty serious about their ideas and would love to take them forward.

What exactly happens of these entrepreneurs and business ideas is yet to be seen? But the event, according to participants was pretty fulfilling. According to Shakshi Poudel, one of the participants of the event, “The boot camp was amazing and life changing, at the least.” And other participants voiced similar excitement about UNC2017. These growing excitement surrounding entrepreneurship, innovation, and startups is surely a great news for the flourishing startup community of Nepal.





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