Back to Business
Back to Business
Small businesses are the lifeblood of rural Nepali towns. People with courage, vision, and sometimes just a little help, set up tiny local teashops, roadside stalls, hairdressers and vegetable stands that supply every-day needs and give their proprietors a small income. 
Prem Kumari Tamang, of Tawal village in Ree, started her sewing business with just one sewing machine. With business savvy and hard work, she built it up until she had nine machines, and was employing and training local people. She used the profit to open a general shop. She and her husband Phaisingh had a house in the bazaar, and their three children were going to school.
It’s all gone now. Both businesses and the house are destroyed, and with them all that hard work. Prem Kumari estimates her losses at around NRP 400,000 (USD 4,000), a fortune in Nepali terms. But she’s grateful that her family is safe – they were in church when the earthquake struck. 
Prem Kumari’s smart jacket contrasted oddly with the traditional doko (basket) she carried on her back when she and Phaisingh walked down to Chimchok, five hours away, for the UMN emergency relief distribution last week. But she’s a determined lady. She’s already thinking about how to start again.
Providing the resources and encouragement for people like Prem Kumari to restart their small businesses will be a big part of rebuilding livelihoods in rural Nepal, a role UMN and its partners are keen to play. Nepali people don’t want to live on hand-outs; they want to get back to business.

Prem Kumari’s western clothes contrast with the village clothes of her friend and neighbour Aaiti (see Shattered Communities) but she says she can still carry a load.

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