Every Last Thursday of the Gregorian month, Bikalpa – an Alternative jointly organizes the “Last Thursday’s” event at Biratnagar in collaboration with Hotel Namaskar, Makalu Television, Nepal Youth Entrepreneur Forum (NYEF) and Biratnagar International College. The objective of the program is to disseminate the ideas and knowledge about entrepreneurship through the personal sharing of successful entrepreneurs. Also, the program creates an opportunity to do networking and share ideas among the participants.
The 47th Last Thursday with an Entrepreneur was held on 27 June 2019 at Himalayan Darshan College Biratnagar. The Guest Speaker for the program was Mr. Yogendra Mandal, Founder, CEO Jeevan Bikas Society.
In an interactive session at Himalaya Darshan College, Mr. Yogendra Mandal (Founder, Jeevan Bikas Society) shared his life’s journey at the “Last Thursday’s, An Entrepreneurship Talk Program”. In the one-an-half-hour interaction session, he delighted the audience with stories of working at the grassroots level for the upliftment of the social and economic status of people at rural regions. He started his speech questioning the audience whether they wanted to become a Jobseeker or Job giver in the future. Adding to that, he said, “Earning money for ourselves is not the only happiness. Helping others earn is bigger happiness for self-satisfaction”. After completing his graduation in Bachelors in Science, Mr. Mandal went to Kathmandu for further opportunities. He was also involved in a decent organization while staying there and his experience there helped him realize that he was capable of getting a job anywhere. This increased his confidence and he began aiming in becoming a job giver rather than a seeker. He was able to do in a decade. His journey as a social entrepreneur began after returning back from Kathmandu. He first began teaching Rishidev (Lower caste) children for their socio-economic upliftment which later became his obsession and he began envisioning it as a campaign. This idea manifested into the famous social organization we now know as Jeevan Bikas. Like few other organizations back then, he also forayed into microfinance with an aim to economically uplift the rural people. Along the lines, his organization unlike normal micro finances, also invested in various social upliftment schemes and campaigns like education, capacity building, and farming among others. Currently, Jiwan Bikas has a separate department for Social development and training. He also told that Jiwan Bikash Society was not established as anyone’s personal hobby but was a product of the circumstances.” Also, the organization has trained over 2500 youths in a different capacity and skill development programs among which around 1000 of them are currently working with Jivan Bikash Society.
Bridging the gap of poverty through Microfinance
Meanwhile, during the interaction, he also shared that with the help of Jeevan Bikas Micro Finance, individuals from the marginalized community have benefitted a lot. “Through various social and economic programs, we are able to create many opportunities here and thousands of people are getting benefitted from those programs. For our community development works, we were recently awarded USD $ 300,000 by the AGFunds and were ranked at 8th position at the microfinance global index,” he said.
Lessons of hope
He also shared a quote that was a source of inspiration for him since his school days. “Education is not only about learning from books. What you learn, should be applied in your life. Similarly, Jeevan Bikas Society is also a platform to learn, gain knowledge and do a positive thing for the society. Many national and International university student visit society for internship programs. I feel optimistic about the future. I believe that my generation has the skills, education, and affluence to bring positive change and we have an opportunity here.” He shared.
Focus on your work, do your best
He also said that if someone wants to become successful and take their work to a different level, then they need to work hard. “I have always said that if you are honest and positive then you are always welcome to work with us. We should not focus our learning just for passing the examinations. Rather, we need to make our life meaningful and knowledgeable. When we are positive toward our work, only then can we work for the betterment of our society.” he further added.
After sharing his experience, he also answered the queries raised by the participants. 65 people attended the event held at Himalayan Darshan College.