Tourovation Hub Program is an 18-months project titled Building Innovation for Nepal’s Tourism Sector by adopting renewable energy and energy efficient business models. We will be working jointly with ICIMOD and SELCO Foundation to support Nepali tourism entrepreneurs to harness innovative opportunities through ideation, incubation and acceleration of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficient (EE) solutions and approaches. The Tourovation Hub, contributes towards ICIMOD’s REEECH (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability of the Hindu Kush Himalaya) objective to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investors, and policy enablers, to integrate RE and EE solutions into small mountain enterprises across the HKH, and scaling up green tourism.
Tourism is one of Nepal’s largest industries. However, some of the current challenges for the sector include sustainable innovation, natural resource limitations, climate shocks (extreme weather, natural disasters), environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure for energy access, drinking water supply, road and air transport and publicity amongst others. More recently, the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with dire consequences for Nepal’s tourism sector. Tourism entrepreneurs and stakeholders estimate that the sector could lose “NPR 40 billion to the crisis, and anticipate job losses for 1.1 million workers”.
There is an urgency for Nepali tourism enterprises, particularly micro, small, medium enterprises, to explore innovative solutions and business opportunities in the short and long term that address the above challenges. So that they are able to deliver resilience by designing and developing sustainable value propositions and business models with the ability to absorb, adapt, and transform. In particular, RE and EE innovations that include multi-stakeholder views with business support services is integral for such business model innovation.
Design and development of sustainable business models for Nepal’s tourism enterprises by adopting RE and EE approaches and solutions. The design and development of sustainable business models involve multi-stakeholder views and collaborations. The participation of public and private stakeholders from the tourism and RE sectors will be crucial in supporting, advising, and ensuring the sustainability of the project.
8 tourism enterprises were selected through the ideation phase – design sprints, in October 2020 to participate in a 7-month-long incubation program (November 2020 – May 2021). Each of the enterprises successfully received the seed fund of NPR 2 lakhs to integrate RE solutions into their business. With the completion of the incubation phase, four enterprises are now in the acceleration phase – access to finance and post-investment coaching (June – December 2021).
The dynamic 8 tourism enterprises
Steering Committee Members
- Access to a comprehensive business development curriculum and learning resources
- Explore and integrate renewable energy solutions and approaches
- Monthly masterclasses (in-person or virtual)
- Bi-monthly strategic business coaching and monthly financial coaching to meet enterprise milestones (in-person or virtual)
- Access to finance
- Post investment coaching (in-person or virtual)
- Peer learning, enterprises work collaboratively and learn from one another
- Nepal Communitere’s network of industry experts, technical consultants
- The Hub’s partners and steering committee (tourism and renewable energy experts)
- Customers and visibility through Nepal Communitere’s monthly newsletter, social media networks, and mailing list
The first cohort of tourovation hub business incubation programs is undergoing an acceleration process and currently we are not enrolling new companies for the program. Stay tuned to our Nepal Communitere FB page, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and website for launch of applications in future.
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