Monday this week I returned from an unforgettable week in Nepal as a member of T Foundation’s team of entrepreneurship trainers. We had the absolute privilege of working with approximately 60 young Nepalis, over two 2 day workshops, exploring the topic of entrepreneurship and the ideas they have for creating new businesses. What we encountered were talented individuals with an absolute passion for shaping their own destiny, hungry to learn and act.
T Foundation is the inspiration of Ken Koh and Mark Holcombe, members of the world wide Entrepreneur Organisation (EO). Ken from the Singapore chapter and and Mark the Melbourne chapter, met for the first time in Nepal earlier this year. Working with Nepal EO member Ujjwal Shrestha, their newly formed T Foundation became a vehicle for transferring the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship to the young adults of Nepal.
But as always the learning is never one-way. What I derived as a trainer in the program was the reminder of the power of resilience and self-belief when confronted with enduring challenges. The past 20 plus years in Nepal has produced a period of enormous change and political turmoil. A disposed monarchy and changes in Government every other year. There has been Government after Government lacking either the mandate or the resolve to make a real difference. The result has been years of wasted opportunity, and an incredibly challenging environment in which to thrive.
However, the optimism and quality of business ideas of Nepal’s next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders was a reminder that the future for Nepal has some real upside. There is an appreciation that leverage resides in working on the things that you can influence, and that there is something liberating about taking charge of one’s own destiny. The program that we delivered works from the premise that entrepreneurs have a flair for seeing a problem, finding a solution and thereby converting it into an opportunity. It is a mindset and capability that was perfectly aligned with the participants of the program.
The experience also provided a timely reminder of just how easy we have it in Australia. For our entrepreneurs the challenge really just resides with how good your idea is and how well you execute it. The environment we operate in is stable, developed and largely encouraging. We may bemoan red tape, soft consumer confidence, the high dollar and low productivity, but frankly my new resolve is that if you can not succeed in business in Australia, you will not make it anywhere. Let’s get cracking.