Roots of Circularity (RoC) Project in Nepal

6 May 2024 - kathmandu

By Rohan Shrestha & Nischal Shrestha 

About RoC:

Roots of Circularity (RoC) is a 4-year long project funded by the European Commission and spearheaded by Impact Hub Association (IHA) in collaboration with Impact Hub Kathmandu (IHK) and Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN) that aims to cultivate a Circular Economy (CE) ecosystem in Nepal.  Over four years, RoC will focus its efforts on the Bagmati and Lumbini Provinces, with the primary goal of driving a fundamental shift in Nepali policies, engaging citizens, and nurturing the entrepreneurial landscape to embrace the concept of  Circular Economy (CE) principles. The project will engage with civil society organizations, empower micro, small, and medium enterprises, collaborate with academic institutions, and establish a Nepal Circularity Alliance to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration for CE policy development.

RoC Incubator Program:

ROC Incubator Program aims to capacitate 60 enterprises over 3 years in Bagmati Province and Lumbini Province of Nepal by facilitating them to integrate circular economy practices into their business by adopting circular solutions for various components of their business. To run the Incubator program with the above-mentioned objective, a curriculum/toolkit has been curated and developed for the incubatees. 


RoC Incubator Program 2024 – Bagmati Cohort 1

Sourcing Call for Applications

As the ROC program geared toward inception, it initially announced ‘Call for Applications’ on 16th Feb 2024, for MSMEs based and operating in Bagmati Province across various platforms, including the social media pages of Impact Hub Kathmandu (IHK), in-person sharing and IHK networks. Additionally, we collaborated with the Lalitpur Metropolitan City Office (LMC) and Lalitpur Ward No. 1 to disseminate information about the applications and encourage the enterprises within their networks/channels. We also contacted various colleges in the Kathmandu Valley and provided marketing materials for distribution within their campuses and networks. These efforts significantly boosted the awareness campaign.

Selection for the incubator program

Following the ROC Incubator Program for Bagmati Province criteria, we invited applications from sectors such as waste management, fashion/textiles, tourism, food and agriculture, and clean energy. Upon receiving the applications by the deadline of 17th March 2024, the applications were initially reviewed as the first round of selection, which involved assessing their applications based on evaluation matrices. Subsequently, the shortlisted applicants progressed to the interview round. Out of the 36 applications received, 16 applicants were shortlisted and invited for the interview round (2nd/Final round of selection). Following the interview rounds, 10 applicants were ultimately selected based on evaluation matrices as the incubatees for the ROC Incubator Program 2024 Bagmati Cohort 1.

Commencing of the Incubator Program

Following the selection of applicants, orientation of the ROC Incubator Program 2024 was held on April 9 2024. The ROC Incubator Orientation Program is centred around sharing the program’s objectives, activities, framework, agenda, and benefits. Fifteen participants from the ten selected enterprises (incubatees) attended the orientation program. They displayed great enthusiasm and were eager to learn more about the circular economy (CE) and how to integrate CE principles into their businesses. 

On April 15  2024, Impact Hub Kathmandu (IHK) conducted the 1st Masterclass of the Roots of Circularity Incubator Program 2024 for Bagmati Cohort 1. Titled “Introduction to Circular Economy,” the masterclass was facilitated by our Programs and GEDSI Lead, Ms. Bisheshta Shrestha. Alongside exploring the historical context of the Industrial Revolution, the class delved into linear economy, circular economy and its essence, and emphasized the significance of circular economy in the current context. The masterclass seamlessly integrated relevant theories with engaging activities, encouraging both individual and group participation of the incubatees.

From April 23 to April 26, 2024, IHK organized Human Centric Design (HCD) Sprints for the incubatees.  Facilitated by HCD experts from Cue Studio, Ms Doma Tsering Tamang and Sushmita Shrestha, the session marked the beginning of a four-day Design Thinking Sprint for the Roots of Circularity Incubator Program – 2024 Bagmati Cohort 1 incubatees. In the first session on 23rd April 2024 of the HCD Sprint, the focus was on fundamental aspects of HCD, such as its definition, and process, and establishing the groundwork for upcoming sessions. The first day’s activities combined theoretical discussions with practical activities, including case studies. Participants aimed to develop and apply HCD principles to address specific business challenges.

Similarly, on April 24 2024, IHK hosted the second sprint of Human Centric Design (HCD). This session built upon concepts introduced earlier, focusing on applying HCD principles to participants’ business challenges. Through activities centred around ‘User Synthesis,’ in which participants synthesized user insights from their research and formulated solutions to address customer needs and problems.

Continuing the HCD sprints on April 25 2024, participants engaged in prototyping potential solutions to their business challenges. In this third day’s session, participants turned insights from previous sessions into tangible prototypes. These prototypes underwent testing among fellow participants, IHK members and tenants representing the target audience and receiving feedback.

Concluding on April 26 2024, we wrapped up the four-day HCD Sprints for the ROC Incubator Program – 2024 Bagmati Cohort 1. Incubatees presented their learnings and ideated solutions to judges, Ms Sanjiveeni Yomzom, Director of Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN) and Mr Rabi Malla, Founder from KOLPA, and received valuable feedback. Finally, in the reflection session, participants shared insights and feedback on the sprint’s effectiveness. Overall, the sprint successfully fostered a mindset of human-centric design, aligned with circularity, thanks to the facilitation of HCD experts Ms. Doma Tsering Tamang and Sushmita Shrestha.

The RoC Incubator Program – Bagmati Cohort 1 will continue with masterclasses every month concerning the framework shown in the previous segment. In addition, this incubator program also aims to provide monthly one-on-one coaching sessions (Business/Financial/Technical) to all the incubatees.

Incubates Profile

Kapal Fertilizer Agricultural Farm


Eco Sathi Nepal


Kinnovation Trading Pvt.Ltd


Khagraj Krishi Udhyog Pvt. Lt




Duluwa Outdoors 


Shikar Agro Pvt. Ltd.


Hatti Hatti Nepal


Naturo Earth 


Coffee Bhatti