Madhumaya Basyal

Life has been a constant struggle for me. My husband was in Kuwait, away from me and our family for 18 years. In the meantime, I had to take the responsibility of bringing up my children and siblings on my own. My husband had seen some difficult times and did not want to go back. I reassured him that we would start a venture of our own together in Nepal, our homeland, and convinced him to stay back. Initially, we started a clothing retail store but due to high rents and low sales, it turned out to be non profitable. Disheartened, we shut it down but the zeal in us to do something and contribute to the nation had not died. We decided to utilize our property and resources and thus started a homestay in our own house. Homestay is a novel concept in a place like ours where popular tourist accommodation are hotels and guest houses. However, since the past one year, the preference of homestay is increasing, mainly because visitors want to experience the local culture and lifestyle. Our visitors are notably foreign tourists than domestic tourists, who usually locate us through recommendation from other homestays and some through google ads. With total investment of Rs. 22 lakhs, we are currently operating 3 rooms for homestay where one of them is occupied by a Japanese guest for 2 years. Inlying from the main Palpa bazaar has become a main drawback for my business. Regardless of that, we are promoting our homestay as much as possible but with eight other homestays nearby it has become challenging. To finance my business, I have taken a loan from the cooperative keeping my house as collateral but due to heavy interest on the loan it has become very difficult to pay off. Also during monsoon season, roads are blocked due to landslides. As a result, there are very few tourists visiting which is directly affecting our business. Despite this, we still have positive hope to foster our business and want to inspire other people through our work. I want to expand my business by further converting the first floor to homestay which will add another 5 rooms in future. Through this business, I have not only earned living, but my children have learned a lot; they have been exposed to different people from different countries and cultural backgrounds and also learned to speak in English. Since last 4 years, Daayitwa has supported rural growth-oriented entrepreneurs to accelerate their innovations and incubate other entrepreneurs in their local communities through its Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP). This year also we have selected 20 entrepreneurs from Palpa district, among which Madhumaya Basyal is one of them.

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