YUWAccess is a project funded by European Union (EU) and jointly implemented by PlaNet Finance Nepal, Rural Microfinance Development Centre Ltd. (RMDC) and the Federation of Nepal Cottage & Small Industries (FNCSI). The project is being implemented in three districts of Nepal via. Ramechhap, Dolakha and Dang. The project was started on May 2011 and will end on May 2014. The specific objective of the project is to upgrade and strengthen technical and managerial capacities of Nepalese Technical and Vocational Education Training Providers (TVETPs) of the targeted districts so that the unemployed youths of the project districts will obtain vocational training and then get job in the country or abroad. If they could not get job opportunities, they will be given the necessary entrepreneurial and occupational skills on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) and loan will be provided through the local financial institutions to start or expand their own businesses. The MSE loan products designed and adopted by the financial institutions (FIs) will be friendly to the targeted unemployed youths to operate new or already established small and microenterprises.
Planet Finance is mainly involved in promoting vocational skills and strengthening the capacity of Technical and Vocational Education Training Providers (TVETPs), RMDC is mainly involved in providing youth friendly microfinance services through technical assistance and wholesale lending, whereas FNCSI is responsible for selecting potential unemployed youths of the respective districts and establish counseling and placement unit in each project district which will be a meeting point for the employer and employment seeking youths.
The total grant amount to be received by RMDC during the project period is EUR 1,02,287 which includes a revolving fund of EUR 56,250. RMDC is involved in capacity building of the microfinance institutions (MFIs) and in providing them wholesale funds for on lending to the target beneficiaries. The ultimate beneficiaries of the Project are the unemployed or the very low income women and the youths from the vulnerable communities (Tharus, Tamangs, Magars, Kamis, Thamis, Muslims and Dalits) in the Project districts-Dolakha, Ramechhap and Dang. Similarly, the Project also aims to improve capacity of local MFIs to ensure the availability of financial services to the general public in the Project districts.
Under the project period RMDC identified and surveyed 181 Cooperatives providing microfinance services in three project districts. District level workshops were organized in each district to disseminate the findings of the survey. On the basis of survey and project need, RMDC prepared a Micro and Small Enterprises (SME) loan manual for Cooperatives and MFIs. RMDC organized workshops in three project districts to interact with potential Cooperatives and MFIs about their role in the project and process for partnering with RMDC. Altogether Five Cooperatives/MFIs became partner of RMDC and RMDC disbursed them Rs. 12 million for MSE lending. RMDC has planned to organize training to cooperatives/MFIs staff in each district on MSE loan and also a workshop with the partner cooperatives of the project district.