This project was designed for women from low-income communities who face enormous challenges in meeting their family’s needs. The aim was to provide access to financing to improve their livelihoods, and to provide a source of confidence and hope in rebuilding their family’s lives after the Nepal earthquakes.
Jhigu Mitra’s team (a local partner, whose name means ‘Our Friends’) had been exploring the possibilities for the income-generating activities in low-income communities within Kathmandu Valley for several years. They proposed a number of microbusinesses to Mitra Path that needed support. All of their proposals targeted home-based activities such as sewing, knitting, weaving, tea shops, and farming.
After careful review of the proposals, Mitra Path chose to give financial support to a sewing and tailoring business project.
Jhigu Mitra brought together four women from low income families who were eager to start their tailoring business.
A three-part agreement was signed between Jhigu Mitra, the four entrepreneurs, and a local women’s cooperative. Then together they created a business plan and made an official proposal to Mitra Path for sewing business sponsorship. Mitra Path contributed the sewing machines and financial support to the program.
Jhigu Mitra coordinated the program and procured the sewing machines. The women’s cooperative explored the market and accessed a tailoring contract with local garment factories, as well as provided a tailoring workspace. The four selected women took ownership of their business by jointly contributing their own money to purchase an additional machine. They were also willing to take out a low-interest loan from the women’s cooperative to cover additional business expenses.
Jhigu Mitra recently provided Mitra Path with an update that the women have accessed tailoring work from a local factory and have begun initiating their work. Jhigu Mitra team will monitor the project to ensure the women will continue to earn a steady living and expand their new income-generating livelihood. One of women expressed to Mitra Path that she feels a sense of joy from doing what she already loves to do and now earn a living from it.
Jhigu Mitra is exploring the possibilities for more income-generating projects in Machhegaun and neighboring cities. Machhegaun is a small town in Kathmandu District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal.
Some women from Panga have shown interest in initiating home businesses promoting local Newari cuisine and culture. The Jhigu Mitra team is planning to conduct a meeting with the interested parties as soon as possible to explore the possibilities and to run a feasibility report on the businesses they propose.
Mitra Path looks forward to supporting future entrepreneurs who are eager to start their own businesses and bring vitality to their families and communities.