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Ujwal Thapa, of Entrepreneurs for Nepal, mentoring students during the workshop at Thames International College

Biruwa Ventures conducted a three-day workshop on business plan development at Thames International College, Kathmandu from January 11th through January 13th. Around 50 students in their 5th semester in the Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) participated in the workshop.

The workshop encouraged students to look at entrepreneurship as a possible career option, answered questions regarding why and how to develop a business plan, and guided students through various business case studies. Students were divided into groups and asked to choose a business case. Established entrepreneurs mentored students to structure and refine their business plans. The students pitched their business plan to a panel of judges at the end of the workshop.

The first day of the workshop covered all the basic components of a business plan using an actual plan for a potential business opportunity in Nepal. We encouraged students to take part actively in the discussion throughout the day and showed short videos focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. During the second half of the session, we discussed eight possible business opportunities in Nepal. The students were divided into groups and asked to choose a business case for which they wanted to develop a plan. We also gave students the option to develop a business problem on their own and create plan to turn the challenge into an opportunity. Biruwa set up an online discussion group where the students could continue to ask questions, exchange ideas, and explore business opportunities outside the classroom.

Below is one of the videos we showed during the workshop.

On the second day two mentors – both established entrepreneurs – were invited to the session. These mentors, along with the Biruwa team, circled the room spending time with each group helping them to develop their business plans. They helped students link and apply the concepts they had learned on the first day to real business opportunities in Nepal. The mentors encouraged students to think out of the box, asked targeted questions, challenged them on their business solutions, and guided them to create a logical flow between the various components of their business plan. The students were encouraged to relate identified target markets with suitable marketing and pricing channels; create operations strategy based on competition in the market; and develop a suitable financial plan based on the size of the industry.

On the third day, each groups presented their business plans in front an audience of students, mentors, and teachers. The students were given exactly eight minutes to make their pitch and another five minutes for Q&A from a panel. The panel provided feedback on the presentation style, and asked questions that required the students to defend their business plans. Each of the group approached their business opportunity in a unique way and it was clear from the presentations that the students were excited about the workshop and their business plans. Each student was also given a certificate of achievement for completing the workshop.

At the end of the session, Biruwa Ventures asked the students to fill a feedback form and give suggestions on how to improve the workshop. When the participants were asked if they would recommend the Business Plan Workshop to friends/classmate, more than 90% of the students ranked the workshop at 8 and above (1 being not likely to recommend, and 10 being highly likely to recommend). A student who participated in the workshop wrote “I am very grateful to Biruwa Ventures. It (the workshop) really worked as a guideline for us who wanted to be an entrepreneur”

Biruwa also has an ongoing in-depth discussion on a wider range of business opportunities in Nepal on Facebook, and encourages entrepreneurs to join and further the ideas. If you are a student or an aspiring entrepreneur interested in participating in any future workshops, please send as an email.


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