NEHUB Spark Week 2017
To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 on the month of November, NEHUB and Global Entrepreneurship Network aspired and collaborated with various organizations to organize a 5 day event titled NEHUB Spark Week 2017 from 22nd — 26th November. Organized for the first time in Nepal, Spark Week was a jamboree with coming together of many stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship. It brought together scattered ecosystem actors along with other players such as media, bilateral organizations, I/NGOs, etc. to come and work together. The event was sponsored by Nepal Innovation Lab, Islington College and Local Intervention Group (LIG). NEHUB Spark Week 2017 included one panel discussion per day for five days which incorporated various essential elements of starting and growing a sustainable business.
|1||MEDIA AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP||22nd November 2017, Wednesday, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM||Innovation Hub, FNCCI Building, Teku, Kathmandu|
|2||ARE JUST IDEAS ENOUGH||23rd November 2017, Thursday, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||Kings College, Baber Mahal, Kathmandu|
|3||GROWTH IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS||24th November 2017, Friday, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||Islington College, Kamal Marg, Kathmandu|
|4||THROUGH THE INVESTOR’S EYES||25th November, Saturday, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||Rockstart Impact, Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur|
|5||POLICY: KEY TO A THRIVING ECOSYSTEM||26th November, Sunday, 4:00 PM onwards||Hotel Himalaya, Kupondole, Lalitpur CLOSING CEREMONY (Networking Snacks and Drinks)|
5 Days 5 Tracks :
MEDIA AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
In the current situation, although media looks after entrepreneurship and business with keen eyes yet much is left to be understood regarding entrepreneurship, its ecosystem and its true value to the nation. The interaction inclines towards creating that much needed bond with the media and their role to foster entrepreneurship.
To mark the first day of NEHUB Spark Week 2017 a panel discussion on the topic Media and Entrepreneurship was held on 22nd November from 1-3 pm at Innovation Hub, Teku.
- Media should restructure itself to the new scenario and look entrepreneurship in a more important manner.
- If media houses aren’t able to gain credibility, there’s the possibility of falling into the trap of ransom journalism.
- It’s about knowing how to utilize media and wanting to utilize media. It’s important to teach the honest entrepreneurs about the utilization of media and discourage the ones who misuse media.
ARE JUST IDEAS ENOUGH?
Everyone has ideas that could ultimately become a million dollar enterprise. Yet, the main difference lies in making sure that the idea is viable, bringing about THE product or service along with the hard work that comes along with it. Along with it, the importance of capacity building programs like Startup Weekend, mentoring programs, etc.
The second day of NEHUB Spark Week 2017 a panel discussion on the topic ideas titled “Are just Ideas enough?” was held on 23nd November from 4-6 pm at Kings College, BaberMahal.
Brijendra R Joshi, IT Professional, has 12 years of work and entrepreneurial experience with multiple startups in IT.
He is a co-founder/Chief Operating Officer at Rooster Logic, an ICT company that works with big data and focuses on Research and Monitoring. He is Co-Founder, Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub that organizes Startup Weekend Kathmandu.
Takeaways of the session:
- Even though one loves his/her idea and can’t think of giving it up, s/he needs to pivot and move on to something else if the idea does not work. It is essential to focus on things one is skilled at and experiment more without losing one’s entrepreneurial vibe.
- It’s not only about entrepreneurship, it’s about entrepreneurial way of working. Even if the person is working in development sector, there needs to be an entrepreneurial way of thinking for solving problems.
- The community needs to be ready for the idea. There are networking events like Techstars Startup Weekend and Hackathon where one can come and test their idea and take it to the next level.
- Even the most innovative idea would fail if one doesn’t don’t understand its customer. It’s important to make sure that the market is ready and the idea is sustainable.
- People should know what they are doing. If a product is being made, it is crucial to make sure that people know about the product.
GROWTH IS KEY TO SUCCESS
Once the service/product is introduced into the market. The real work actually begins there. Customer development, finding the right market, growing productions, are just few elements of running a startup. Saying this, no matter how good a product/service is, it would be a waste if the business doesn’t grow. A business must grow in order to sustain and thrive.
- Three things are essential for being an entrepreneur to grow; being crazy and stupid, thinking differently and applying one’s passion.
- Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job unless one has passion for what he/she is doing and is willing to get up every morning and follow the same routine again and again.
- If one is trying to grow, not doing things differently would make it difficult to generate good will in the market.
- Making calculative mistakes on a micro-level helps an entrepreneur recover quickly.
- Every entrepreneur has his/her own set of targets and vision. The path for achieving the vision could differ. Sometimes the path changes and there are unforeseen circumstances, so an entrepreneur needs to be ready for any kind of situation.
- One has to entrepreneurial in everything he/she does in life to solve problems or to see the gaps and hit it right. It is important for managers to understand that what comes next has to be calculated, only then there is the potential for growth.
- Perseverance is important for growth. One has to persevere through all challenges and obstacles in order to grow.
THROUGH THE INVESTORS EYES
If the business idea is good, all investors are attracted towards it. Yet, investors won’t spend their resources if they don’t see what they need. Either it be VC, an angel, a Private Equity company or any financial institution have their common criteria they look for before considering to invest in any of the idea/company.
Tyler McMahon is the Founder and International Advisor at SmartPaani and One Planet Solution. Former Report Analyst and Climate Change Consultant at World Food Program.
Takeaways of the session:
- Investment in Nepal is a challenging sector as an investor, both domestically and internationally, as well as an entrepreneur.
- The real work of starting up a business begins when one has received the funding.
- Since there’s a ceiling on FDI, there’s always a debate on the size of investment. FDI policies have not been encouraging SMEs to grow in Nepal.
- Entrepreneurial mindset has been developing gradually and to foster this, financial institutions need to provide investments.
POLICY: KEY TO A THRIVING ECOSYSTEM
Policies are the catalyst that help an ecosystem thrive. Not all companies get funding they require, nor they get the required support. The discussion would dive into the policies that actually support or hinder an entrepreneur’s growth. Along with it, we look into alternative ways to seek funding and grow the company, such as crowdfunding, ICO, etc. and the policies to regulate them. International transactions such as PayPal, or maybe remittance are all various avenues to growth.
Panel discussion on Policy: Key to a thriving ecosystem was held to mark the fifth and the final day of NEHUB SPARK Week 2017. The session was held at Hotel Himalaya on 26th November 4 pm onwards.
- Looking at Nepal’s development only from poverty alleviation perspective, there are many aspects to be satisfied about but from economic growth perspective, there is immediate need for complementary programs.
- Nepal needs to move ahead from eradicating poverty to growth oriented entrepreneurship.
- The lack of awareness amongst entrepreneurs to realize the good policies that preexist in our country hinders the growth of an enterprise.