CEO’s message:March 19, 2019

It gives me incredible pleasure to announce that Mahila Sahayatra was awarded the 1st Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa Global Award for Women’s Empowerment at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women, at the United Nations in New York this March, 2019. Mahila Sahayatra was selected in the Private Sector and received $100,000 to continue its efforts in economically empowering 30,000 women and now more, in the remotest regions of Nepal.


Within our short microfinance history of 6 years of operation in the most challenging terrain, Mahila Sahayatra was able to identify itself as a unique microfinance program that links credits with entrepreneurship training, standing outeven at a global level. This Award is an international recognition of Sahayatra’s commitment and tangible entrepreneurial change.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters in this recognized endeavour of the economic empowerment of women – our promoters, shareholders, Nepal Rastra Bank, collaborating banks, Sakchyam Access to Finance and all stakeholders.



We were awarded this prize when we reached 28,500 clients through 26 branches in 17 districts (5 in Makwanpurand  Rolpa, 3 in Rautahat, 2 in Rukum, Salyan,Parsa, and 1 each in Nuwakot, Surkhet, South Lalitpur, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Nawalparasi and Dang) and have an outstanding of Rs 1.05 billion lent to 17011 loanees and have a total of Rs 228. Million in savings.We are still grappling with a NPL of 2.4 % despite efforts to bring it down. We are looking forward to much lesser non performing loans in the days ahead.


Our achievements include the purchase of two ropanis land in Chitlang in 2018 and providing an 8% cash dividend to its promoters and shareholders. To date the institution has given Dividends of 10%, 5% and 8% respectively in the last three years. Sahayatra has also received the Challenge of Fund of Rs. 47.76 million from DFID for establishing five branches in the remote mid-west and for linking microfinance with enterprise development service.


With the efforts of all team members and Enterprise Development Service program Sahayatra is looking forward to bringing natural products of its clients from the mountain sites to public consumption through White Lotus Organic Concern (facebook: White Lotus Organic Concern Pvt Ltd.).  In the near future the institution plans on constructing its own building for the use of Head Office in Chitlang!

The road here has certainly not been easy.


However, as I write this, the Center Chief representatives of nearly 9,000 clients in the mid-west are assembling to share their entrepreneurship journey and products’ exhibitions in each branch location.


I would like to chronicle a brief history of the last six years resulting in the achievements to date:


2013 – Established a Head Office in Chitlang inaugurated by the Governor and opened three branches, reaching 1200 clientsdisbursed Rs 25 million and became an institution with 30 staff. The norms of microfinance were set on ground and on paper.


2014 – Saw a total of 8 branches, 1900 clients with Rs 88 million outstanding and a team of 34 staff. NRB/Central Bank inspected and gave positive reports on its progress. Sahayatra developed links with PUM of Netherland for technical support,and collaborated with KISAN of USAID and UNDP’s MEDEP program. Hosted researchers from Cornell and Lafayette Universities - Rafael Gonzales and Yuki Poudel - and intern (SumanaParui) from CIMMYT.


2015 – 13 branches established in 8 districts, reaching 7940 members with 19 crores outstanding. IPO (Initial Public Offering) to public forRs 33 million but 2.6 billion subscribed, a good signafter only two and a half years of operation. However, the bad news is the earthquake directly affected 1400 households of Mahila Sahayatra in Nuwakot, Dolakha, Makwanpur and Bhattedanda (Lalitpur). We could only give Rs 1000 to 1500 households as relief support.Exacerbated by the trade blockade imposed by Indiacrippled many clients’ enterprises. NPL went to 3.2% from 0.2 year before. Reaching the remote areas was made very difficult.


2016 – Sahayatra takes the approach of enterprise support to clients focusing on the use of the credits for a purpose. This was stimulated by the fact that the1.8 million women with Rs 300 billion outstanding loans have no listed women producing our daily needs. Thus processing, labelling, mechanisation, climate change sensitivities was brought about through new credit products. Links developed with CIMMYT, NAMEA and Sakchayam to set up 5 branches in mid-west – Amra, Aathbiskot, Thabang, Khungri and Botechaur.


2017 – 20 branches established in remote areas of 11 districts, 14,600 clients, 8200 borrowers. Defection of clients, abuse of credits and multiple lending becomes a big challenge to the sector. Sahayatra’s reaching the unreached areas also affected by multiple lending due to over licensing of MFIs. Sahayatra signs MOU with Sakchyam in Thabang. Introduces Berendina Model of Enterprise Development Service (EDS) to its clients – giving skills to enhance enterprises of clients. Collaboration with LIBIRD in Salyan.First bonus dividend of 10% to promoters and shareholders.

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