[September] Reflections of Start up Fellows

Antarprerana has been working on 'Strengthening Goat Farmers' capacity Through the Students' Engagement' project in collaboration with Heifer Project Nepal.  In this project, 34 students are engaged in 10 cooperatives of Chitwan and Nepalgunj to strengthen the capacities of 60 model goat farmers by helping them develop bankable business plans as well as provide them with technical assistance to strengthen their business operation capacity. Students from Brightland College, Nepalgunj, and Presidency College of Management and Science, Chitwan have been engaged as startup fellows from the past eight months. 

The objective of this project is to undertake the need assessment survey of goat farmers, and cooperatives, provide mentorship and assist in developing a business plan of farmers and co-operatives. This has been an opportunity for the students as the project stimulated cross-learning opportunities for students, farmers, cooperatives, and value chain actors.

Take a look at what some of the students have to say about their experience of working with goat farmers, cooperatives, Antarprerana, and Heifer Project Nepal:

Priya Shrestha, BSW - 3rd Year, Brightland College, Nepalgunj

Doing business is not as easy as you think because it is filled with hurdles that you face on the way, but if you have hope & are persistent towards your aim, it will eventually pay off. There is no shortcut to being an entrepreneur or a person that can get success in their business. It always comes down to how unique their idea is and how they choose to plan, process, and strategize for their business. It is necessary to learn, adapt, and relearn to grow themselves as well as their business. As social distancing & stay-at-home orders have extended throughout the country, many students are coming to terms with the fact that we will be working & learning remotely for quite some time. During this pandemic, it can be a bit of a challenge for everyone, but it has been a fruitful experience working & learning with Antarprerana. After joining this project, I have had the opportunity of interacting with small Udhyamis and understanding, identifying their problems in aspects such as finance, technology, training, and others. I had the opportunity of knowing how Heifer International, with the collaboration with the Antarprerana team, has been supporting them. In conclusion, I can say that I have had a productive time doing this project.

Ganesh Neupane, BSW- 2nd Year, Brightland College, Nepalgunj

This project has given me a platform to enhance my entrepreneurship skills, develop my communication skill, interpersonal skill, and leadership skill which are essential to run a successful business. It has provided me with the opportunity of visiting the farmers who raise goats for their livelihood and business purposes. During those interactions with farmers, I have gained knowledge about the real problems and challenges faced by the farmers and how cooperatives have helped them grow their business. I have had the opportunity of conversing with the farmers and listening to their stories of the struggle they face while raising goats, their ways of solving the problems on their own, or with the help of other cooperatives and organizations. It was interesting to hear about their future goals and their expectations from the cooperative and other helping organizations. I had the opportunity of learning about goat farming and the various aspects to make goat entrepreneurship a success. 

Sunil Magar, BBA-7th semester, Presidency College of Management Sciences, Chitwan

This whole experience for me was about communication and improving my communication skills. Being a fellow for this project helped me realize that communication is everything as communication is not always about talking, it's about making people understand what you're trying to say. Goat entrepreneurship and goat entrepreneurs were all new concepts to me when I started, it was difficult to communicate with them but with the constant support and guidance from team Antarprerana and my fellow team members, I was able to overcome that. This project helped me improve my communication skills, motivated me to be an active participant in any team discussion, and helped me build an experience of working in a team.

Soniya Gurung, BBA-7th sem, Presidency College of Management Sciences, Chitwan

I am thankful for this fellowship opportunity that I have received which has helped me enhance my communication skills. In the beginning, I was unsure about and stepping out of my comfort zone and being involved in this project but now it's overwhelming to see how far I've come in these few months. Visiting different farmers’ to talk about their work will be one of the most memorable days for me. 

I am blessed to be a part of a project that was exciting to do and never felt like a task. This project made me realize that educations about gaining practical and relevant experience rather than collecting a certificate at the end of my degree and I am thankful for Heifer International Nepal, the Antarprerana team, and my college that provided me with this opportunity.   

Sapna Pandit, BBA - 7th Sem, Presidency College of Management Sciences, Chitwan

                                                         “सानो सुरुवातबाट पनि व्यवसाय गर्न सकिने रहेछ ”

As a senior fulfilling my last few credits of graduation I chose to be a part of Antraperena through its fellowship program, “Strengthening Goat Farmers’ Capacity through the Students’ Engagement”.  Working in the project has been an adventure on its own. From managing to coordinating activities during the project to meeting the female entrepreneurs and learning more about goat entrepreneurship, I have gained an abundance of knowledge about goat farming. The women entrepreneurs with whom I had the opportunity to talk to were confident about their mission of being empowered by making enough money from goat farming. I felt immense pride in seeing the women participate in various training and workshops with active participation.

The other aspect of this project was the networking and communications skill that I received. Talking to the women entrepreneurs helped me with my communication skills as well, I have more clarity and confidence in every word I speak. Working with a team that was active and interactive contributed to my communications as well.