On the evening of 8th January, Saturday, the Hult Prize at IOE met up for an invigorating session of Entrepreneurship Talk Series: Introduction to Entrepreneurship. The event was facilitated by three eminent guest speakers: the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Hamro Patro, with experiences as a principal software engineer at Verisk Health and Symantec, Mr. Shankar Uprety; development practitioner and Co-Founder of Asha Social Initiative, a gender and Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools WASH-based social initiative in Nepal, Ms. Sahara Basnet; and the Strategy Manager at LoginID, an Identity, and Authentication Saas Startup and a previous Consultant with Master Card Advisors, Ms. Fiona Furlong from Argentina.
Entrepreneurship Talk Series by Hult Prize at IOE was attended by a whooping participation of over 110 participants who interacted with the guest speakers with zeal and enthusiasm as never before.
Hult Prize at IOE: Entrepreneurship Talk Series Overview
The program was opened by the Media Coverage Manager of the Hult Prize at IOE, Ms. Suniti Shrestha, who introduced the objectives and theme of the Hult Prize at IOE and remarked on the objective of the day’s meaningful gathering, which would be to shed light on entrepreneurship. She proceeded to introduce the guest speaker panel, the leading experts at entrepreneurship and innovation, and exemplary models of start-ups. The Campus Director Mr. Bishal Bashyal remarked on the aim of the event while inviting the attendees of the event to participate in the Hult Prize at IOE.
Mr. Shankar Uprety shared about his journey with Hamro Patro and the way forward.
The first speaker of the day, Mr. Shankar Uprety, briefed on one of the most downloaded android applications of Nepal, Hamro Patro, which he co-founded, and of his early experiences as a Nepali software engineer living and working in the United States, which led him to design the app addressing the need of Nepalese residing outside of Nepal.
During his talk, he emphasized the necessity of creating something that recognizes the need of the people. He talked of how he observed the Nepalese society and looked very carefully at what it lacked and needed desperately, and tried to address those very needs in his other start-ups and business ideas like Hamro Keyboard, Telemedicine, and lately Remittance Service. During an extremely interactive Q/A session, he interested the participants with his briefing on conducting the market research through observing the needs of the society and listening to the complaints of the people.
To him, entrepreneurship is addressing the problems of the users more than anything. He also gave insightful answers to the curiosity of the attendees on funding and investments plans for start-ups and about the changing trend of the entrepreneur ecosystem and the flourish of e-commerce over the past decade in Nepal due to the introduction of the internet and digital payment systems.
Ms.Fiona Furlong elaborated on business strategy, business models, and her experiences with corporates and startups.
The second speaker of the day, Ms. Fiona Furlong, also talked about her experience in various start-ups that she campaigned into. She talked about the complications and challenges of the seemingly straightforward start-ups and the need to not give up and keep going. She urged the participants to push forward through all the complications as long as they believe in your business idea to be worth it. She ruminated on her experience working in health care, collaborating with doctors and pediatricians, to diagnose children with developmental challenges in their early stages. She had loved working with children and having a positive impact on them.
The most unique of all, she talked about tackling the challenge of funding through participating in various competitions as she did. She tackled the queries of the attendees on dealing with uncertainties as an entrepreneur and urged them to build valuable connections, build a group of motivated individuals to reach a common goal, experiment and reiterate the business model constantly, about sustaining a business after it has been built, about building revenue models and the importance of marketing and branding in leveraging it for maximum profit. She ended her talk with a briefing on what her typical day looks like upon a query from one of the participants.
Miss Nepal Asia Pacific International 2017- Ms. Sahara Basnet shared with the audiences her story with Asha Social Initiative and how its purpose still keeps her going, despite all odds, for more at present.
Ms. Sahara Basnet was the third speaker in Entrepreneurship Talk Series by Hult Prize at IOE. She has dedicated her life to creating a social impact through entrepreneurship, explained what it meant to be a social entrepreneur during her session. She talked about her experience as a student, witnessing the lack of sanitary and hygienic facilities catered to school girls causing them to drop out in a rural village of Surkhet, which pushed her to become who she is now. She awed the audience with the tales of challenges and setbacks she had to overcome during her start-up, and emphasized the need for consistency, being realistic with goals, and reminding yourself of the bigger picture every step of the way. Her story made clear the significance of collaboration, partnership, and social relations in any initiative.
She shed light on the need to reduce poverty and gender-based inequality through start-ups while addressing climate change and adopting sustainable development techniques in any start-up as she has done on her own. To her, social entrepreneurship would be creating goods and services that create revenue in your organization, which can, in turn, be used back into the community in a closed chain.
While answering the queries of the audience, she urged the budding social entrepreneurs to focus on the groups that are in dire need of services, whose plights are the products of our social constructs and are often under-looked and neglected.
All of the guest speakers from the first episode of Entrepreneurship Talk Series by Hult Prize at IOE were presented with a token of love for the extremely invaluable lessons they imparted to the budding entrepreneurs and impact-makers. With an extremely lively and interactive session, the attendees were elucidated on entrepreneurship which was further rendered fruitful with the guest speakers receiving, with excitement and open mind, each of the queries that the participants presented. The event was wrapped up with Ms. Suniti Shrestha thanking all of the guest speakers and the attendees.
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