In 2018, enterprises across the portfolio performed well, with 100% of the enterprises ending the year as profitable. Overall the enterprises generated £538,547 in revenues, double the amount since receiving support from EDP. At a country level, results from the year have shown that the effects of EDP have created impressive short-term revenue increase. With greater financial ability, we have seen the enterprises make social improvements that include increases to income and the creation of new job opportunities, as well as improvements to products and the formation of new partnerships.
All three enterprises in the country’s portfolio have either hit or are on target to fulfil their goals of reaching more women and increasing women’s economic empowerment, with a 20% increase in women taking up leadership positions. For example, in Pavitra Seeds, women occupy 50% of leadership positions, whereas before EDP support they had none. In addition to loan facilitation and technical assistance, training has been given to those involved within the enterprise value chain. This includes weaving, seed packaging and wider training on gender sensitisation and unpaid care work.
Training in Nepal has been carried out through Participatory Learning Centres, which have a specific focus on empowering vulnerable communities and women. A potential area for improvement for the three enterprises would be a significant increase in wages paid to employees, as this was not evident despite growth. This goes some way to explaining the increased revenue, without the costs involved in an increase to wages. However, within two of the enterprises, we have seen a growth in annual income for direct beneficiaries. The enterprises have faced wider challenges within the country, such as low demand for certain types of product, and the risks associated with climate shocks that affect agriculture-centred businesses.