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It's time for recognition & limelight for social entrepreneurs

Two organizations and three individuals were awarded Surya Nepal Asha Social Entrepreneurship Award 2011 at a special ceremony in the capital on Monday. Surya Nepal in association with Change Fusion Nepal and Nepal Business Initiative (NBI) organized the event.

Vijaya Development Resource Centre (VDRC) of Nawalparasi and Chhahari Services of Kathmandu bagged the award along with Ram Sapkota of Moutain Delights Treks and Tukee Nepal Society, Sabita Maharjan of Kirtipur Hosiery Industries and Shyam Badan Yadav of Kalash Milk Industry.

Surya Nepal gave away cash prizes of Rs 100,000 to each of the winners. Similarly, Change Fusion Nepal will provide networking opportunity and PR support to the winners.

VDRC was chosen for the award for mainstreaming different dimensions of development under one umbrella, encompassing education, media, microfinance and others. The organization established by a group of youth about 31 years ago is helping rural people with improved livelihood through education and access to economic opportunities.

Chhahari Services is providing income opportunities to mostly illiterate single women with no skills to independently generate income.

The other winner, Sapkota, is running social projects in the area of education, health and living conditions in Jyamrung of Dhadging district.

Similarly, Maharjan is providing training to women in the art of knitting and offering these women a source of income through Kritipur Hosiery Industry. Yadav, the other awardee, is a social entrepreneur at Dhorey village in Parsa District. He runs Kalash Milk Industry with the objective to providing a source of income to locals.

Winners of the first-ever award to recognize social entrepreneurs was selected on the basis of their innovative ideas, commitment and their vision for social change. Individual vision and passion carried 50 percent weightage while project´s impact and credibility carried remaining 50 percent.

The winners were selected from 66 applications received from different parts of the world. Panel of Jury which included renowned social entrepreneurs Anil Chitrakar, Ashutosh Tiwari, Vinit Rai, Assistant Vice-president at JM Financial Investment Managers Limited, India, and others selected the winners.

Sanjiv Keshava, managing director of Surya Nepal, said the company will make it an annual event with an objective to recognizing and felicitating hidden heroes. "Role of social entrepreneurship is crucial in developing economy like Nepal," he added.

Besides the main award ceremony, the event featured a Bazar and Seminar on Friday and Saturday. Twenty social entrepreneurs short-listed for the award showcased their products and services during the event.

The two-day of Bazar and Seminar was supported by Synervate and Nepal Infopark.

Published on : Republica, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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