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Introduction to UKaid सीप Challenge Fund & Interaction on Solutions to Boost the Fair-Trade Crafts Industry

On February 26, UKaid Skills for Employment Programme (सीप ) organized an action-oriented interaction with diverse market stakeholders interested and invested in the crafts and fair-trade industry.

The event saw participation from more than 60 individuals from the crafts industry, mainly women entrepreneurs, cooperatives and banks, and association of various handicraft products. The programme started with introduction of participants followed by presentation on introduction to UKaid सीप and its Challenge Fund Process by Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader of UKaid सीप and team. Various skilling models currently in piloting stage such as MAW Academy for Skills Development (JCB Operator Training Centre), Revival of Palpali Dhaka and others were shared during the event. At the event, the team also highlighted UKaid सीप’s approach and efforts so far, including existing and potential partnerships with fair trade producers, and how the सीप Challenge Fund co-investment and technical assistance can be mobilized by market actors to support and accelerate their growth aspirations.

सीप’s introduction was followed by remarks from Mr. Pawan Golyan, Chairperson of Golyan Group; President of Federation of Nepal Exporters’ Association and President of Nepal Yarn Manufacturers’ Association (NYMA) where he explained about the existing partnership model between सीप and NYMA and urged the crafts industry to explore the possibilities of collaborating with सीप to promote the industry further while also providing employment, especially to women. Similarly, Mr. Rob Clark from DFID Nepal also elaborated on DFID’s priority to support target beneficiaries, which includes women,DAG, People with Disabilities (PwDs) and others, in Provinces 2 and 5.

A moderated discussion centred around introducing better skilling and upskilling initiatives and addressing key market constraints to ensure that crafts producers and entrepreneurs have access to opportunities and build competitiveness to succeed in emerging national and global markets, also took place during the event. Panellists for this discussion were Mr. Pawan Golyan, Ms. Shyam Badan Shrestha of Nepal Knotcraft, Mr. Robin Man Amatya of SABAH Nepal, Mr. Prabal Saakha of Hamrobazaar, Ms. Anouk Tamrakar of Timro Concept Store and Mr. Umesh Raj Newa of Laxmi Bank.