Meet Sharan Kumari Gurung, the recipient of the first Loden-UNDP Entrepreneurship Loan. Through the support, Sharan can access interest and collateral free loan amount of up to Nu 1.5m to start her reusable baby diaper making business. As a mother of three, Sharan knows how buying diapers can leave quite a dent in an average Bhutanese family’s savings. She also realized that diapers make up a huge chunk of wastes going to the landfills in the country.
The idea of cloth diapers first struck Sharan after she gave birth to her twin sons in 2017. “There would be 10-12 soiled diapers going to the waste bin at home every single day," she said. “This was when I realized I must find an alternative.”
When Sharan saw the Loden-UNDP Call for Business Proposal announcement in August this year, she grasped the opportunity to turn her business idea into a reality. “I wasn’t sure how people would react to my proposal. Receiving this support from Loden Foundation and UNDP has helped boost my confidence.”
Loden Foundation is a Civil Society Organization (CSO) dedicated to fostering an enlightened and happy society through promotion of social entrepreneurship, education and Bhutan’s culture and tradition across the Bhutanese society.
The Loden-UNDP collaboration is a first of its kind initiated to support innovative climate friendly business proposals from youth and women entrepreneurs.
The initiative is supported by the Gender-Responsive Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Implementation Project of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The project is being implemented by the National Environment Commission (NEC) and National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) with funding support from the European Union (EU) and the Governments of Germany and Spain, the NDC Partnership
and technical support from UNDP
It is supporting Bhutan in meeting its Paris Agreement commitments by scaling by investments in inclusive, gender-responsive climate actions. NDCs are at the heart of Paris Agreement and embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. In 2009, Bhutan committed to remain carbon neutral. This commitment was reiterated in 2015 in Bhutan’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Paris Agreement, which was ratified by the Parliament in 2017.
The next Loden-UNDP call for proposal will be announced in March 2020.