Poverty Alleviation and Employment Creation through Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) for Youths

Alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods of unemployed youths

Photo of Dr. Lakshman Pun
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Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • Over $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Nepal

Headquarters location: City

Kathmandu, Nepal

Location(s) of impact

Nepal: 77 districts and 537 Local Governments out of 753



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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Every year about 500,000 youths enter into job market in Nepal. In the absence of employment opportunities in the country about the same number migrate to other country in search of job. MEDEP is trying to create jobs to these unemployed youths through providing package of entrepreneurship development which helps them to be self employed first and later employ other youths as the enterprise grows. By implementing this programme the migration of youths to other countries can be reduced and thereby economic development.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) has been evolved as an effective Micro-Enterprise Development (MED) Model which comprises of a six step process of providing entrepreneurial services to unemployed youths and poor. The first step is to select the unemployed youths and poor and orient them towards enterprise development through social mobilisaion. The The second step is entrepreneurship development. Third step is technical skill development in the most potential enterprise the beneficiaries have selected. The fourth step is to link them to financial service providers. The fifth step is linking them with appropriate technology providing institutions and the sixth step is marketing of the products and services and business counselling. By providing the step by step service provided to unemployed youths and poor develop confidence to establish enterprise that later improves their livelihoods. This model has been become effective effective and government has replicating it.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

More than 130,000 micro-entrepreneurs are created. Many of them are graduated to small enterprises More than 500,000 poor are lifted above poverty line More than 500,000 jobs have been created Their income has been increased by more than 400 percent over the baseline per capita income. They have been able to improve their livelihoods. They have been able to send their children to better school for higher education They have accumulated physical assets and their living conditions are significantly improved.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

This project has been evolved as on of the unique and innovative Micro-Enterprise Development (MED) Model that has been adopted by Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal with its own resources (both financial and human) and replicated to all 77 districts. Under the recent restructured federal system there are total 753 Local Governments (LGs) called as Rural Municipality, Municipality, Sub-Metropolitan city and Metropolitan City. Government has already covered 537 LGs and gradually other LGs will be covered. Government copied MED Model development by the project and replicating through "Micro-Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA)" a flagship programme of the government. MEDPA is being implemented for the last five years (2013/14 - 2017/18). MEDPA II is already drafted.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Others projects are implemented following the conventional approach such as providing skill alone or financial services or through transfer of technology but MEDEP considers all components as complementary to enterprise development. The most important aspect of MEDEP is it introduces entrepreneurship development package e.g. Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) borrowed from International Labour Organisation (ILO) that was adapted to Nepal since 2002 which effective in motivating youths.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

The first phase of MEDEP was a pilot project for five year. After piloting the project poverty alleviation through micro-enterprise development mostly targeted to unemployed youths and poor became very successful and effective. Then project was expanded 15 additional districts which later covered 38 district out of 75 districts. During the first phase UNDP provided the fund followed by DfID, NZAID, AusAID during the second phase. During the third phase coverage was increased to 38 districts with financial supports of AusAID and CIDA. The last and fourth phase (2013/14 - 2017/2018) funded by Australian Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with the objective of institutionalisation into government system through UNDP and with the ownership of Ministry of Industry, Government of Nepal.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Alessandra Caprara

I have a question about your project. How will you keep the knowledge spreading among youth? Is there always some esucational institution participating of the process?

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