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Lakpa Lama

Nepal
Lakpa Lama, the current president of the National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal (NMEFEM), was born 1976 in Sindhupalchok district. When he was two years old he was diagnosed with polio and, ever since, he has walked with a limp. As he was born in a society with inadequate conveniences, he couldn’t start his schooling until he was 11 years of age. He would walk for four hours back and forth to school every day. After ten years of schooling, he graduated in 1997 and the urge to get employed brought him to Kathmandu. In Kathmandu he involved himself in wooden furniture making and then returned back to his village after a few years of work. He completed his high school there and then he started providing (informal) education to illiterate and deprived women and children in his community, organized into groups. After a few years he came across MEDEP. 

In 2006 he joined the skill development and entrepreneurial training program organized by MEDEP, which involved the production of incense sticks. After he completed his training, he started an incense stick business venture along with his friends. It was not an easy venture, as they came across various barriers which disturbed the process of production and marketing. Under the leadership of Mr. Lama, they nevertheless achieved their goal in spite of these barriers. Seeing the scope and prospects of this business, Lama started to organize and provide trainings regarding incense stick production and visited about ninety different places throughout the country. 

He says he would not have done any work without the help of District Micro Entrepreneur Group Association (DMEGA), National Micro Entrepreneur Group Association (NMEGA), and the opportunities and skills training programs that were provided together by Micro Enterprise Development Program and Government of Nepal. In 2007 he was elected as the Central Committee Members of National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation through district association. He later was elected as Vice President of the Federation. He is currently the chairperson of National Micro Entrepreneur Federation of Nepal (NMEFEN)

His struggle has brought about significant changes in his society. People have started talking about the importance of the vocational education as a basic need of life, which has led to a positive change in the employment situation of his community as well as various other societies that he has worked for. There has been an elevation in the situation of women. He has also created an association in his society that tackles various social evils like gambling and caste based discriminations. Above all he has generated awareness among people about the prospects of different micro enterprise development programs due to which they have become more open and participative. He has been actively encouraging and facilitating youths of his community, creating employment ideas and opportunities and has been creating awareness about entrepreneurship in Nepal. 

“A lot of social and economic problems prevail in our society and employment creation through increased enterprise is the only solution to those problems. We should approach different methods at times and create opportunities for unemployed in order for the results to sustain”, says Lama. “Everyone born this society should develop a feeling that we should do at least something and give back to our society. Due to my different ability, I have always been motivated to give back to the community and create environment where differently able people like me could something in life”, he adds. He tells that the Government should regularly create rules and regulations that encourage an entrepreneur-friendly environment. 
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