Sarbottam Nari: Subtly Contributing Towards Women Entrepreneurship Development in Nepal for More Than a Decade and Half

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Sarbottam Nari: Subtly Contributing Towards Women Entrepreneurship Development in Nepal for More Than a Decade and Half

If somebody were to hint that a lifestyle magazine is making significant contributions towards entrepreneurship development might sound like an optimistic search for entrepreneurship everywhere. But, a deeper insight into the works of Sarbottam Nari, a women-focused magazine based in Nepal, suggests that contributing to entrepreneurship is not something exclusive, limited only to the business ecosystem players.      

Sarbottam Nari is a monthly Nepali language magazine that features news and stories on a variety of topics, all pertaining to women. In October 2002, when it started out as an entertainment magazine, it was called Sarbottam. Two years later it was re-branded to Sarbottam Nari when Kantipur Publications realized that the voices of many Nepalese women were going unheard. Today, the magazine has become the leading women’s magazine in Nepal by acknowledging the larger than life roles played by women everywhere. The magazine's consistent efforts towards women empowerment through information and exposure connects and boils down to its contribution towards women entrepreneurship development.

“We believe, women entrepreneurship is one of the key contributors of women empowerment. And, we are glad to know that our coverage as media is contributing towards an overall upliftment of the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in Nepal,” says Subash Dhakal, chief editor of Sarbottam Nari. The 112-page magazine has multiple feature areas where women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ideas are published starting with the cover story itself. Furthermore, segments like Karmachettra (Professional endeavor) and Bazaar Report (Market Report) directly cover entrepreneurs and their products.

The dedicated segments related to beauty, fashion, cooking allow entrepreneurs working in these sectors to write and share their expertise. “We encourage small business owners to use these segments to promote themselves and their company while informing the readers about better lifestyle options,” says Dhakal. Sarbottam Nari is looking to continue their endeavor in search for women entrepreneurs in due process.

In more than a decade and a half since its inception, Sarbottam Nari has covered women entrepreneurs from all across the country. The search for empowered women that can inspire generations that will follow has led Nari’s team to different corners of Nepal. From agriculturists in Salyan, to beauticians from Dolakha, Nari has covered them all. And the most inspiring women with the most inspiring stories happen to be entrepreneurs who do things on their own.  “One of the primary goals of our job is to find ambitious women whose stories we can cover to inspire our readers. And, it’s noteworthy to mention that most of the women we cover are aspiring entrepreneurs,” says Dhakal.

As the leading women's magazine in Nepali language, Sarbottam Nari has partnered with organizations that come up with a media partnership proposal on women empowerment related programs. Recently, the magazine partnered with Udhyami Seed Camp: Women Edition (a five days long entrepreneurship bootcamp for people with aspiring business ideas). The purpose of the partnership was to promote women with the willingness to start their own venture.    

Either entrepreneurship is too pervasive or entrepreneurship really does contribute a lot to the cause of empowerment, but almost every issue of the magazine happens to cover some or the other aspect of entrepreneurship---be it in the form of a story, a feature, or a DIY. In the near future, Nari plans to further contribute to the cause by introducing a separate column dedicated entirely towards women entrepreneurship.

Women empowerment has indeed been a long standing issue in the society. One of the main reasons why women lagging compared to their male counterparts is the lack of financial independence. And entrepreneurship could provide just that to many people. In a country with an apparent dearth of women entrepreneurs, efforts being made by a magazine like Sarbottam Nari in terms of promoting and supporting women entrepreneurship can go a long way into actually empowering women.

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Guest Monday, 23 October 2017