Tourovation Hub Program is an 18-months project titled Building Innovation for Nepal’s Tourism Sector by adopting renewable energy and energy efficient business models. We will be working jointly with ICIMOD and SELCO Foundation to support Nepali tourism entrepreneurs to harness innovative opportunities through ideation, incubation and acceleration of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficient (EE) solutions and approaches. The Tourovation Hub, contributes towards ICIMOD’s REEECH (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability of the Hindu Kush Himalaya) objective to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investors, and policy enablers, to integrate RE and EE solutions into small mountain enterprises across the HKH, and scaling up green tourism.

Tourism is one of Nepal’s largest industries. However, some of the current challenges for the sector include sustainable innovation, natural resource limitations, climate shocks (extreme weather, natural disasters), environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure for energy access, drinking water supply, road and air transport and publicity amongst others. More recently, the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with dire consequences for Nepal’s tourism sector. Tourism entrepreneurs and stakeholders estimate that the sector could lose “NPR 40 billion to the crisis, and anticipate job losses for 1.1 million workers”.

There is an urgency for Nepali tourism enterprises, particularly micro, small, medium enterprises, to explore innovative solutions and business opportunities in the short and long term that address the above challenges. So that they are able to deliver resilience by designing and developing sustainable value propositions and business models with the ability to absorb, adapt, and transform. In particular, RE and EE innovations that include multi-stakeholder views with business support services is integral for such business model innovation.

As such, with the aim to help Nepali tourism enterprises transform to resilient and sustainable enterprises, the Tourovation Hub aims to promote the adoption of RE and EE solutions and approaches in tourism enterprises.

Program outline

Design Sprints will be conducted in October 2020 to select 10 tourism enterprises to participate in the seven months long incubation program (November 2020 – May 2021). Out of the 10, five enterprises will move into the post-investment phase (June – December 2021).

Why Apply

  • Access to a comprehensive business development curriculum and learning resources
  • Explore and integrate renewable energy solutions and approaches 
  • Monthly, in person or virtual, masterclasses
  • Bi-weekly strategic business coaching to meet enterprise milestones
  • Peer learning, enterprises work collaboratively and learn from one another
  • Nepal Communitere’s network of industry experts, technical consultants
  • The Hub’s partners and steering committee (tourism and renewable energy experts)
  • Customers and visibility through Nepal Communitere’s monthly newsletter, social media networks and mailing list
  • Makerspace to design and prototype with 3D printers, plasma cutter, welding, and carpentry tools (based on requirements)
  • Dynamic furnished space, with hi-speed internet and backup electricity (depending on the COVID-19 situation)

Selection Criteria

If you are a small and medium tourism enterprise based in Kathmandu, with operations across the country, following your passion and looking for an opportunity to grow your business, please apply!

  • Already adopted or aim to adopt RE and EE solutions, strategies and approaches
  • Businesses beyond the ideation phase with at least 2 years traction in the market
  • Entrepreneurs who demonstrate a readiness to adopt innovative approaches to growth of their businesses
  • Need basic and practical business development skills 
  • Proactive, passionate and visionary founders
  • Hungry to learn, grow and network
  • Require seed funding to iterate, pivot or innovate their businesses

Women entrepreneurs and women-led enterprises are strongly encouraged to apply.

Questions? Check our FAQ!

In Partnership

selco