Enterprise Learning & Networks

Enterprise Learning training provides for the practical and strategic needs of low-income women in enterprise by strengthening their basic business and people management skills. It highlights the essential entrepreneurial skills from a gender perspective, whether applied to starting or improving an individual, family or group business. It shows women how to develop their personal entrepreneurial traits and obtain support through groups, networks and institutions dealing with enterprise development. The focus is mainly on women entrepreneurs but does not exclude men. The training methods are participatory and action-oriented using real life experiences of participants and building upon these for lessons on better business management.

The training methods are participatory and action-oriented using real life experiences of participants and building upon these for lessons on better business management.

Our findings

Across different parts of Nepal, rural areas are face similar challenges, such as a diminishing local services, economic and employment issues, as well as demographic changes with increasing older population and out migration of young people. There is a need to find new tools to assist rural communities to address these challenges and ensure sustainability.

Our research shows a wealth of local potential, knowledge and skill for sustaining services and enhancing community life using an enterprise approach.

Social enterprise is an exciting, ethical and sustainable way of doing business which benefits the community, society or environment. Social enterprises are businesses which trade but reinvest their profits into their social or environmental aims. Some may also achieve their aims by the way in which they run their business, for example by training and employing people who find it difficult to get a job. There are a wealth of examples of rural social enterprise running community shops, handicrafts, paintings, hand made clothing, youth services, and the list goes on.

This approach to sustaining services is well established in Nepal(and particularly rural Nepal). However much of the learning resources, guidance and networking for ‘social enterprise’ and ‘community development’ has evolved from an urban perspective.

Our efforts

This training supports women-led small businesses and encourages them to be more innovative, competitive in business activities and support their business processes. We are working to encourage and support:

  • More women entrepreneurs and get more women, creating & growing small businesses
  • More competitive, innovative and productive women-led small businesses.
  • A quality, relevant enterprise learning programme for women to help them tackle current economic and technology challenges.
  • By improving their business activities, we aim to make the women we work with better able to contribute to an innovative and competitive economy.


The concept outlined above, however, relatively novel in rural development across much of Nepal. ‘This is why there is a need to develop tools, resources, guidance and networking, bringing together examples of good practice in relation to rural social enterprise to assist local people across Nepal to develop knowledge and skills. This would include rural community involvement, partnerships and networking, business thinking and recognising the potential of social entrepreneurship in sustaining rural communities’.

As challenges are somewhat similar across rural areas, it made sense to combine the international expertise of rural development and social enterprises to develop methods for promoting and supporting social entrepreneurship in rural areas.

We have a great consortium of partners which supports new approaches to local community and social entrepreneurship based on the combination of diverse fields of knowledge and competences.

The project is aimed to individuals who are interested in developing and sustaining their rural communities, who are willing to consider socially enterprising solutions to assist their rural areas or individuals who already have an idea for social enterprise in rural areas, as well as individuals already engaged in social enterprise activity but wish to gain new skills, knowledge and expertise to assist them in their venture. Nearly 300 participants will be engaged in learning while participating in the actions of the project.


Overall, it shows how effective training can:

  • Support increased resilience to crises by encouraging women to build up financial safety nets through savings schemes and financial management; by facilitating social support structures that activate community resources to provide mutual support and insurance; and by teaching strategies to diversify livelihoods and reduce women’s reliance on a single productive activity.
  • Reduce vulnerability in the market by improving women’s knowledge and confidence in negotiating terms for their produce and services, and helping them strategise to improve these terms.
  • Improve long-term security by helping women demand that government policy and processes address their needs, especially in terms of enabling rural infrastructure.
how can we help you?

Contact us at the WEAN office or submit an inquiry online.

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