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Mar 13, 2023

Thulo.Com jointly with SDC & UNCDF empower over 1,700 MSMEs in Nepal

FA News Desk

To bridge the digital gap of MSMEs Thulo.Com initiated a project – “MSMEs Growth Bazar: Digitization of MSMEs by providing market access through Thulo.Com”, which has been successful to digitise MSMEs based in Koshi Bagmati, Gandaki and Lumbini Provinces.

The partnership that initiated between Thulo.Com, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) helped 1000 MSMEs in Nepal to digitise their operations, including 64 per cent women-led businesses, within a limited span of 8 months, said the press release. 

MSMEs gained digital access to new markets by utilising tools and technologies offered by Thulo.Com. This project helped the MSMEs to onboard into the Thulo.Com platform and provided opportunities of selling online, building capacity and developing their brand identity.

Also, Thulo.Com became successful in expanding its operations beyond the Kathmandu Valley, with focus on Province 1, Bagmati Pradesh, Gandaki Pradesh and Lumbini Pradesh, reads the release.

Ms. Surakchya Adhikari, Co-founder, and COO of Thulo.Com shared, “We are excited to share Thulo.Com exceeded the targets and assisted 1700+ MSMEs, including 64 per cent women-led businesses, in their digitization during the course of the project.”

“One of the major learnings has been that digitization should be planned with a deeper intervention and a holistic approach is a must for successfully transitioning MSMEs into the digital landscape,” she added.

“Businesses should be provided tools and technology to conduct their overall business activities online. This project has touched upon the access to digital market, capacity building and branding aspects of the MSMEs and has been very successful. Way forward, 360-degree services for digitization are necessary to be provided to the MSMEs. Considering this, Thulo.Com has revised its business model to become an impact commerce company that provides access to Market, Technology and Knowledge to MSMEs.”

“We look forward to reaching more MSMEs with our holistic digital solutions to enhance their capacity to run a sustainable business using digital platforms. We also appreciate the support our collaborating partners provided,” she added.

UNCDF initiated this project to support systematic digitization of MSMEs in Nepal to modernize their capacity, strategy, services and/or digital capabilities to promote an economy and a society more inclusive and resilient to external shocks.

UNCDF provided technical assistance to Thulo on how to follow a systematic process of capacity building, human-centred design (HCD), pilot testing, scaling up and monitoring and evaluation. To help shape the programme content and delivery mechanisms, Thulo also adopted human-centred design principles to design their programmes after UNCDF trained them on key HCD techniques and tools.

To implement the project, Thulo.Com collaborated with organisations and associations like Federation of Nepalese Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) – Lalitpur Metropolitan City, FNCSI – Koshi Province, Lalitpur Metropolitan City (LMC) Office, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Morang Merchant Association, Mahila ka Laagi Mahila Campaign, SABAH- Nepal, Koshi Province- Micro Enterprise Federation Nepal, Lalitpur Handicraft Association under the initiative – MSMEs Growth Bazar, it said.

The initiative is currently a part of the partnership with the SDC and the UNCDF to help 4,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nepal to digitise their operations, including at least 60 percent women-owned businesses.

Thulo.Com successfully supported 1,000 MSMEs as a part of this initiative. The partnership helped MSMEs digitise payments, delivery, and post-sales services in rural areas in Nepal, boosting their sales and helped them recover from the effects of the pandemic, release reads.