A new partnership deal reached between Thulo.Com, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is to help Nepal’s 1,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to digitize their operations, including at least 60 per cent women-owned businesses.
The partnership will help MSMEs digitize payments, delivery, and post-sales services in rural areas in Nepal, boosting their sales and helping them recover from the effects of the pandemic, said the press release of Thulo.com.
A pioneer in the e-commerce industry, Thulo.Com, will help MSMEs to aid from the impacts of the recent pandemic and other disasters whose products and services are designed for MSMEs mainly involved in trade, technology, and tourism.
It will expand operations beyond Kathmandu, focusing on MSMEs in rural and urban areas in Province 1 along with Bagmati, Gandaki and Lumbini Provinces.
MSMEs will enter new markets through the Thulo marketplace, reaching online customers, and gaining digital literacy training coupled with technical support and brand identity, and digital marketing coaching, reads the release.
“Switzerland is committed to supporting Nepali MSMEs to make them resilient towards external shocks. Through this partnership, SDC aims to leverage the digital solutions and support MSMEs to gain access to the markets and networks, digitize their transactions, and eventually make way to access new sources of capital,” said Elisabeth von Capeller, Ambassador of Switzerland to Nepal.
“UNCDF is proud to partner with SDC as well as Thulo to advance the inclusiveness of the country’s digital ecosystem by fostering the digital transformation of MSMEs, which form the backbone of Nepal’s economy. With this project, UNCDF hopes to help Nepal become more inclusive and resilient to external shocks by accelerating COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Maria Perdomo, Regional Coordinator in Asia at UNCDF.
“We are excited to offer our platform and services to more MSMEs, especially women-led/ owned, for building their capacity in reaching wider markets, gaining digital skills, and strengthening their market presence with better brand identity. We are thankful to SDC and UNCDF for recognizing our demonstrated capabilities to facilitate the digital transformation of MSMEs, especially during the pandemic,” said Surakchya Adhikari, Co-founder, and COO at Thulo.Com.
This UNCDF project on leveraging digital solutions for MSMEs is embedded into UNCDF’s Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era Strategy for Nepal, launched in 2021. In addition to engaging with Thulo, UNCDF will also be working with Nepal’s MSME federations and associations, as well as, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Business Association of Home-Based Workers (SABAH) Nepal, it added.