In 2011, Gazaab Social Ventures, a micro-social venture capital fund, was launched in Nepal. It was established by two students from the Singapore Management University with the goal “of becoming a self-sustaining social enterprise, where profits are generated to cover basic business operations and fulfil long-terms goals of reaching out to more rural entrepreneurs in impoverished communities”. The venture equips rural entrepreneurs with fundamental business skills and technology knowledge to help them start their own business. Gazaab then provides those entrepreneurs with seed money and in return receives a proportion of the generated profits. A part of the shared profit is reinvested into other rural entrepreneurs and another part goes into supporting local community initiatives.
The venture offers two-week programmes that are divided into three categories:
- Demonstration of case studies of successful village entrepreneurs to inspire participants to pursue their entrepreneurial dream
- Introduction of business concepts (e.g. business plan writing, marketing strategies, accounting principles)
- “The Challenge”: challenges can for example take the form of marketing related activities, which test the feasibility of participants’ ideas
The whole programme ends with a business plan competition. Participants have to present their ideas and the winner will undergo an intensive 3-month workshop where they have the opportunity to meet and learn from successful entrepreneurs.