The Himalayan Times, April 01, 2019
The 4th International Women Entrepreneurs’ Fair 2019 which kicked off last Thursday has been showcasing different handicraft products, food grains and agricultural goods from 75 districts at Sanepa.
The five day fair, organised by the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal, is a platform for women entrepreneurs to showcase their products, build networks and to get orders from international buyers.
There are a total of 107 national and international stalls in the fair. The fair has women participants from 75 districts along with international participants from India, China, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand. The five day fair is expected to attract 50,000 visitors and record Rs50 million in sales, said the organiser.
The expo is showcasing different handicraft products such as dhaka products, pickles, home decorations, food grains from Nepal and more. Majority of the domestic stalls are selling agro products. Similarly, the fair targets customers who look for quality products including international buyers, said Sharda Rijal, president of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal. “We have visitors from Netherland, Australia, Japan and Germany.”
She highlighted major challenges for women entrepreneurs such as access to finance and market place. A participant from Jhapa, Preeti Pradhan, proprietor of Cane and bamboo Furniture and Decor, said that there is a huge scarcity of manpower in the area due to the huge number of people migrating abroad for work. “They are ready to work as a security guard and maid in India yet they are not willing to work in their own homeland,” she said.
Devi Dahal, manager of Shree Satashi Mahila Mauri Palan Cooperatives said that the government needs to provide a market place for the products of women entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, participants of the 4th International Women Entrepreneurs’ Fair 2019 expressed their dissatisfaction with the organiser for holding the fair at a suboptimal location. The fair which used to be held at Basantapur, is now seeing fewer visitors after shifting to Sanepa, according to the participants.
Rijal explained that the association did not have the capacity to organise the fair in a huge exhibition hall.