Aayam – Platform to learn and grow



We collaborate with non-profit organizations and like-minded organizations to design and implement innovative, impact driven solutions addressing sustainable development.


We provide capacity building programs to people and organisations to help them with their professional development.


We offer research and consulting services to outsourcing opportunities provided by government and non-government organizations, educational institutions and business houses.

Our well-wishers

Aayam is platform to learn. I encourage young people to engage in Aayam to explore and understand their potential.

Chandrawati Badu
Program Coordinator

Aayam is a platform where we can fly with our own wings in the right direction with the right mentorship. I started my career from Aayam Skill Development Center and honed my professional skills. If you want to grow, develop, transform, and fly with your own wings, then don’t hesitate and re-think to join Aayam Skill Development Center.

Asha Pariyar
Former Program Officer

Join hands with us.

If you want to invest your time or have some impact ideas or want to offer impact investment, we heartly welcome you. Lets empower people and collaborate to achieve sustainable development.


Promoting Nepali brand

Anup Manandhar had always dreamed of doing something of his own. Though many of his contemporary friends have settled abroad, he decided to live in Nepal. He had family pressure to go abroad to earn his livelihood when he was young but still he stick to his decision to do something in Nepal.

He started his professional career at Hastakala Utpadak Sangh from 2002. During his four and half years tenure, he got an opportunity to visit Denmark for on-the-job training. He was very impressed with felt shoes and became curious how such shoes were made. After understanding the process of making felt shoes, he made his mind to start the same in Nepal by mixing the technologies.

In 2006, in support of a Danish partner, they started making felt shoes. After working together for eight years, he separated to create his own brand and identity. In 2014, his schools mates and 2 other friends collaborated to form Comfort Felt and Crafts Pvt. Ltd. which is located at Kirtipur Municipality.

The beginning is always a struggle. Four of them didn’t have adequate capital and had few saving. They leased the open land and made shelter of bamboo and zinc sheets. They started small. Though registered capital was 25 lakh, they slowly started investing as much as one can. They purchased different machines, keys for making shoes and paid basic salary to the staffs.

They were able to secure loan of 5 lakhs without collateral, given on the basis of credibility of Anup’s professional background which later increased to 10 lakhs and this gave them the boost to run their company in large scale.

When they started the business, there was no domestic market for the felt shoes. Though they did not have customer and market in Nepal, they exported their products through other companies and they really needed to struggle a lot to get fair price for their products. The buyer tried to buy in lesser amount than their invested amount. So, their objective then was to sustain the company and be able to pay the workers rather than gaining profit.  Slowly their production as well as market sales kept increasing.

They continued producing and also approached big export companies. They branded the products for the quality and they helped the Comfort products with marketing. At the beginning, they sold their products in very low profit margin and it was just enough to sustain the company. Slowly the demand of the products kept increasing due to quality. Finally they were able to increase the price of the products as there was demand. However, foreign investors and/or buyers were not yet ready to pay them their desired price for the product.

Customers used to inquire about the products through internet but still there was no substantial purchase made. It all changed for good when a UK based customer got connected to them through facebook and he was very impressed with their working style. He asked for the samples and the first time they exported directly through him.

There is no satisfactory market in Nepal for felt shoes. It is handmade and has high cost and it is not affordable for the common Nepalese. These felt shoes are indoor wears and there are cheaper Chinese indoor shoes, so there is no market in Nepal. There is no scope in domestic market. Foreigners have affinity to handmade products and these shoes are especially for cold weather.

Currently there are 100 workers in the company and they are planning to hire and reach 200 workers.

At the beginning, most of the people start the career under someone. One should not limit their skill and qualities. Rather, identify, hone and capitalize their skills. If you have confidence that you can do yourself, then you should just start. It gives self-satisfaction about doing something of your own.

Anup Manandhar feels glad he started the company and in his 15-16 years of experience, what made him proud is about the employment opportunities created through the company. They are helping others to earn their livelihood. He mentioned that being entrepreneur is pleasant as well as full of struggle.

“Being entrepreneur is pleasure and pain.”

About the unemployment and brain-drain, he thinks it’s very unfortunate for Nepal to lose productive youths capacity to build the country. He mentioned that scarcity brings opportunity to do something. If someone has skill, then such skill needs to be capitalized. If we can do something in Nepal then we can live with respect. No matter how much we do in abroad, we cannot create fame.  If you create employment to at least 50 people only, then there is name and fame. If we can get respect with some small work, why not do in Nepal. We should not seek the result instantly. We should have patience and also give efforts accordingly.

Sharing his views about the important considerations for opening any venture, patience to wait for results is foremost thing to consider. Next is the consistency of the efforts despite the failures and take failures as lesson and third is team spirit. Team coordination, understanding and co-operation among management and production team is important for the success of the business.

Local government should encourage the small scale and cottage industries by providing loans in low interest rate. Many entrepreneurs due to lack of capital cannot grow their business and help in infrastructure such as electricity. Subsidizing tax for entrepreneurs can encourage the small entrepreneurs.

Major lessons to take away from his entrepreneurial journey is, willingness to do something, build your skills and capitalize them and have patience to wait for the results.

Mastering skills for income

Women empowerment has been one of the hot topics in development. Various skill development training programs are implemented by government and non-government organizations to uplift the socio-economic status of women. Women are trained with some skills, however not everyone can have access to resources and make utilization of their skills. In this chapter of entrepreneurial journey, we conversed with Bamboo Samuhik Utpadan Kendra, situated at Kirtipur-10 which has been struggling since 2074 to run a hand-made bamboo items so that their skills do not get wasted and they don’t remain idle.

Bamboo Samuhik Utpadan Kendra emerged from the local community women who were members of Lhowdega Women’s Group of ward no 10, Kirtipur. Few women of the group took training on preparing items from bamboo from Kirtipur Municipality before 2072.  After the earthquake, these women decided to teach these skills to other women in their group so that they can practice their skills and generate income out from their work. With the help of Gyan Bahadur, also trained from Municipality, they conducted training at Kwah: Keba public building with an intention to develop skills of women in making bamboo items.

As per conversation with Hira Shova Maharjan, chairperson of Bamboo Samuhik Utpadan Kendra, establishing a registered organization has been a great experience to understand the entrepreneurship. Out of the many trained women, only eight agreed to work together and form a registered organization. Many left the training, as it required intense eye work and there were many cuts as the work required to use sharp blades and knives. And some left because they could not balance the time at home and training. They had been working informally since 2072 and formally registered in 2074.

In five years of operation, they have faced number of challenges. After few months of earthquake, they worked in temporary shelter which was left empty. Then they shifted to Kwah: Keba public building after temporary shelter was removed. However, they faced difficulty to operate at the public building during the feasts. So with the help of Homenet and Oxfam, they were able to lease a plot of land at their own community to operate their organization. Since these women do not have high education level, they have limited knowledge about government regulations. They faced difficulty in renewing the organization annually as they have not been able to generate adequate income.

They come to work after sending their children to school and leave before the children are back from school. They want to utilize their time in between to master their skills and earn some income. However, they are facing market problems for their products as they don’t have skills in marketing. The COVID pandemic has adversely impacted their business as they could not sell their stock. As the items remain in the stock for long time, there are chances of them getting damaged by insects.

They have been selling their items mainly frames and baskets as gifts and token of love to programs conducted by ward and municipality offices. The local person also buy few items as birthday gifts. Similarly, the tourists come to their workspace, and buy some of the items which they like and are easily portable. They have approached local restaurants to buy their items such as nanglo, baskets, dustbins, etc. They make small hand fans, especially targeting Gaijatra festival as it is hot during the season and it can be used easily. They provide fans at Panga and Kirtipur. As of now, they have their market limited to Kirtipur only.

Working in the organization has uplifted their social and economic status to some extent. Despite low economic turnover, they are happy to spend their time creating bamboo items. “It is better to utilize and hone the skills we have than to sit idle. If we don’t use the skills we have, then we will remain the same as we were before” told Ms. Hira Shova Maharjan.

The community people praise them and encourage them to keep doing the work. Not just community people, they hear a lot of compliments from other women groups as well when they go for meetings or attend any events. They feel good when people are asking about their business and also order items from their organization. They say for now they are earning name and in future they will definitely able to earn significant financial turnover as well.

They want to continue with their work and make it big in future and feel always glad for registering an organization and working together for their empowerment.

As many youths go to abroad for foreign employment and prefer to settle there, the country is losing the most productive human resources. In her final words, Hira ShovaMaharjan said that if people have willingness to do something, there are plenty of works in Nepal and its better to use own skills for the betterment of the country and not to go abroad without any compelling reasons.

From the struggle of Bamboo Samuhik Utpadan Kendra, we can learn how we can create employment opportunity within our community and make maximum utilization of time which otherwise would have gone wasted. Also an important lesson to learn is make use of skills learnt in training. Government and non-government organization conduct many skill development training but we are not able to capitalize those skills. It is important to invest in skill development as well as resource management for empowering community women to generate income within the community. Spreading the entrepreneurial mindset about the women can be great step towards the real women empowerment.

Learning from experiences

The more your experiment, the more you learn. So is the story of Ms. Pratikshya Maharjan, founder of Chamkilo Chemicals Production. She began testing the chemicals to create products without any academic background and with many experiments she has created her own formula for the chemical products business.

Pratikshya Maharjan, a local resident of Bhanjangal, Kirtipur used to work previously in hospital as cleaner. Her earnings were not enough to run her livelihood, so she was searching some other income sources. She used to use detergents and soaps made by women’s group in her community. So she thought of making her own. She thought of experimenting herself and bought all the required materials based on the notes she got. She started creating various products and testing them herself and also gave her family and friends. After getting positive feedback, she increased the quantity of the production. Starting from two products, now she has been making 14 products from her firm.

She began her business journey in B.S. 2073 by formally registering in Kirtipur Municipality.  At the beginning of her journey, she did not have any knowledge and experience in chemical production.  Whenever she approached others, she was turned down. She explored a lot what and how to do. She went to Municipality and understood the process and also registered in the PAN. She found the registration a difficult process however she did not have to pay bribe anywhere.

After registering in municipality, she started labeling and distribution in new packages. Previously she used to refill in the old bottles. First she supplied to her family relatives and neighbors only and later made sales in market. Her friends have a big hand in marketing her products. They encouraged her a lot and not to give up. Most of her products are sold at household level, shops, few to office, banks, restaurants and workshop.

She started from a small room in her house and expanded to three other rooms in her next house. She started with NRS. 2000 and now the investment has reached around NRS. 6,00,000. She has personal loan as well as company loan to invest in her company.

She prepares the products manually. The major challenge is to compete with products from foreign countries which are manufactured mechanically and they get raw materials within their country.  While for Nepal, raw materials are imported from India, Bangladesh, Thailand and China and they become expensive. They make products manually and some mechanically and make sure they have affordable price with low profit margin so that people can buy.

People often look the manufactured country and the packaging of the products. She mentioned that their products have good quality, however people do not buy often. People already have used bottles in home and they don’t re-use them most of the times. For next five years, she plans to produce large bottles which can be used for refilling the used bottles in home. She plans to expand her business and produce quality products with good packaging.

COVID has impact adversely. There was no stock of raw materials and was difficult to purchase also. However she could sell few quantity of handwash and sanitizers. People use to come to company to buy. It was really difficult to manage business during COVID pandemic. Slowly they are rising again.

As of now, three employees have been working in Chamkilo Chemicals Production and there are around 100 people who help to market their products with small commission for their help. As an entrepreneur, she learnt a lot. When we work under others, she just do as directed and get back home.  When she became entrepreneur, she had to look after the customers, stocks, financial status, raw materials and see whether things are going systematically and look over management.

If youths want to do the same business, she would like to say to produce quality products as these are daily use materials and need to consider the health of the people and not to just work with profit-motive.

There are huge number manpower companies in Nepal. Instead of that, there should be more of companies which train youths about the entrepreneurship training. The youths don’t know how to use their skills. The parents should teach their children to not waste time and respect the labour and when these children become youths they will have the understanding that they have to earn for themselves.

Self-confidence is the foremost thing one need to have for starting any venture. Secondly, capital is required to do the things and third important thing  is support of family and friends.

She requested to use their products again to people who used the products and left before, as they have improved the quality. When local people use the locally made products, it encourages the local entrepreneurs to produce quality products and promote their products in other areas.

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