Empower Generation facilitates the establishment of independent, women-led clean energy enterprises in Nepal through technical training and support. We conducted over 50 semi-structured, qualitative interviews with women entrepreneurs, their husbands, sales agents, and customers across eight districts: Bardiya, Chitwan, Dhading, Dhanusha, Kailali, Nawalparasi, Sarlahi, and Siraha. Interviews were conducted following an interview script with a translator. The interview questions were designed to foster discussion among women entrepreneurs about their personal history, the socio-economic impact of their entrepreneurial experience, and their future aspirations.
- Empower Generation fosters power and agency among women. Women entrepreneurs express an increase in their sense of power and agency on individual, familial, and community levels. Empower Generation allows women entrepreneurs to develop their business acumen, leading to more confidence in public speaking and conviction in voicing their opinions in local politics. Entrepreneurs also perceive increased levels of respect from community leaders due to the social nature of a solar light enterprise.
- Independent income generation. Income generation increases women’s agency by dismantling women’s dependence on their husband or family for economic support. Women are able to contribute more to their family’s economic well-being. Mothers can afford supplies for their children and young sales agents attain the financial means to resume their education. This helps to balance conjugal power structures and gives women increased autonomy in household decision making.
- Technical training and support. Empower Generation’s sales and business trainings give entrepreneurs the necessary confidence and skills to take on the daily challenges of business operation. Sales agents utilize the skills learned from Empower Generation workshops to establish their own businesses or gain better employment opportunities. Continued monitoring and assistance from the Empower Generation forms bonds between entrepreneurs and central staff, aiding in the survival and success of each enterprise.
Monitoring and Evaluation Report. This report conveys the socioeconomic impact created by the enterprise. Twelve entrepreneurs, eight sales agents, and seven husbands (of the entrepreneurs) participated in qualitative interviews in order to measure the social impact that business ownership has on the lives of entrepreneurs and sales agents, and their families.
Annual Report: Stories of Impact. This section of Empower Generation’s annual report features photos and written profiles of select women entrepreneurs, sales agents, and customers to highlight the impact of solar energy on each individual.
Video Profiles of Local Women Entrepreneurs. These videos convey a day in the life of each entrepreneur and will center on the different socioeconomic impacts that Empower Generation’s program has had on their lives.