Bjőrn Sőderberg, 28, is a young social entrepreneur with three successfully running companies, two in Nepal and one in Sweden.
In search of something exciting, challenging and different from that of Sweden, Bjőrn Sőderberg came to Nepal as a volunteer when he was 19 years old and lived in Bal Mandir. During his stay, he saw the potential for exciting new things in the hands of the young people in the country. In contrary to the trend of the youngsters finding their way to the U.S and abroad, Bjőrn started off in Nepal with a paper recycling (Watabaran Pvt. Ltd.) and IT outsourcing venture (Websearch Professionals Pvt. Ltd).
Despite the Swedish Government urging its citizens not to travel to Nepal for security reasons, Mr. Sőderberg was determined and he started approaching for loans in banks for the initial capital of $20,000. But through his struggle in the initial days, what he learnt was exciting!
——> Lesson No: 1, One does not need money to be an entrepreneur, s/he needs customers. You don’t spend money to start a company; you start a company to earn money. And with this learning in mind, he went to Sweden and confirmed
Continue reading Swedish IT social entrepreneur in Nepal, Bjőrn Sőderberg
We (as part of the Entrepreneurs for Nepal group) have compiled a series of tips and lessons about starting your business, which is taken from established Nepal based entrepreneurs speaking at the Entrepreneurs for Nepal forum. Here are first in hopefully what will be a series. (downloadable pdf version at the end of the article)
1. Success takes patience. Min Bahadur Gurung waited almost for a decade before he expanded his one-room cold storage shop to a small department store, which then went on to be today’s Bhat Bhateni Supermarkets at more than one locations.
2. Know yourself. Karna Sakya has devised a test that helps you find out how you work, how you value time, and what your values are. His point is that unless you really know what you are good at, and how you function, you are not likely to be a success.
3. Know the strength of others you are working with. You can’t do everything by yourself. Icchya Raj Tamang of Civil Group says that working well on a team is a function knowing and using the strengths of other team-mates toward your goals.
Ambica Shrestha is a hotelier who is known in and around Nepal for her conservation efforts of Nepali /Newari heritage through her hotels and resorts. I got to talk with her a week ago and it was an inspiring talk about how she got to where she is right now and the difficulties faced. Just visit to her hotel in Battisputali, Kathmandu to check out the preservation of ancient heritage she has done. http://www.dwarikas.com/
Here is a transcript of her interaction with nearly 100 young entrepreneurs. A must listen to all those who are aspiring to make a positive impact in Nepal. (right click to download link).
hope you enjoy it. let me know what it felt like. I regularly organize such interactions with a few friends for our group “entrepreneurs for nepal“. So welcome any advice you have got !
As we grow up, we look for ways and patterns in which we can make a ‘deep emotional’ impact on our surroundings besides feeding our desire to be self sufficient. 🙂
In Kathmandu, i have lately been meeting young entrepreneurs who not only want to make it big, but make a ‘positive social impact’ while doing so.And lots of opportunity is here during this transition period in Nepal, to rise out from the crowd of normal entrepreneurs. I see a big opportunity for entrepreneurs with social conscience’ to stand out and be recognized and preferred by clients, customers and be profitable socially and economically.
here are some small ideas where i see social entrepreneurs in Nepal can make a difference:
a) Angel investing in startups (for other young entrepreneurs who have non existant collatorals, and who have ability to create jobs)
b) Waste into “recyclable energy” . You can be the darling of Kathmandites who are tired of seeing waste littered around day after day while earning from tons of organic waste that falls in the streets each day here. I hear 80% of waste in Kathmandu is organic (and can be thrown into a small garden to make compost).
Continue reading Waste managment and more: an opportunity for social entrepreneurs.