Suman Neupane, Assistant Director, Nepal Rastra Bank
Free market economic system is advocated as the best system for the economic development of any country. Except the case of 1930’s and current financial crisis, the system worked for hundreds of years. A historical evidence of liberal economies has proved that high economic growth, which is the goal of any economic policy, can be achieved only through free market system. Thus, most of the countries, including Nepal, have followed the liberalization policy since mid 1980s.
However, liberalization is not in itself a magic to enhance the economic growth and to increase the living standard of the people. The developing countries like Nepal, where there are few entrepreneurs, cannot achieve high economic growth through liberalization. As there are few participants in the market, the market mechanism does not work effectively to satisfy the wants of people. Under this condition, how the basic economic problems- what to produce, how to produce, and whom to produce- are automatically addressed to satisfy the increasing trend of human wants.
Moreover, background of the Nepalese economy does not show any sign that we can achieve high economic growth in long run. Because, the headlines of the daily newspapers of Nepal are sufficient to prove that we have undermined the core factor determining the long run economic growth. Ministers of Nepal Government have been found addressing the foreign investors to invest in different sectors of Nepal, especially in the hydropower projects. Banking sectors are investing in the non productive sectors and growing very faster in comparison to the growth of manufacturing sector. Rural based agricultural sector has very high contribution in gross domestic product (GDP) of Nepal.
If we point out these things, we can conclude that the country is appetite of domestic entrepreneurs for high and stable economic growth. In addition, the large number of blacklisted defaulters in Nepalese financial sector is not only caused by their unethical behavior, it is also due to their low entrepreneurial proficiency to adjust in adverse environment and globalization.
Thus, solution to all these problems is concerned with the successful entrepreneurs, which is possible only through the entrepreneurship education. The entrepreneurship education is most important for the development of any liberal economy as well as for Nepal. For example, if we will be able to produce approximately two hundred successful entrepreneurs to run large size industries; two thousand successful entrepreneurs to run medium size industries, and two hundred thousand successful entrepreneurs to run small size industries then we can achieve high economic growth, even greater than the India and China. It may take a decade in this mission but, if once it is achieved, we can sustain a high economic growth forever.
However, there is no any entrepreneurship course or program in the University education. Tribhuvan University, Pokhara University, Purbanchal University, and Kathmandu University have offered the management courses, which are just sufficient to develop the human resources to work in the business organizations. Thus, most the human resources produced by these Universities are the job seekers but not the job creators. It shows that the human resources have been underutilized due to incomplete courses of management education to develop the skilled entrepreneur.
As there is no any effective academic program of entrepreneurship education, therefore, it is the missing pillar of Nepal's development model. The country needs the domestic entrepreneurs. In any nation, the skillful entrepreneurs are able to identify environment friendly business, able to manage the funds for investment, able to diversify the risks, able to run his/her business even in adverse situation, and work under the rules and regulations of the country. Their effort can be directed by the government through economic policies to achieve high economic growth and distribute the benefit of that growth to ensure high quality of life to the people. So, only the successful entrepreneurs are the nation builders in free market economic system.
In nutshell, as entrepreneurship education is one of the pillars of economic development, let us make heavy investment on it. Sustainable and high economic growth can be achieved if the ministry of education, Government of Nepal, international organizations like World Bank and newly growing Universities of Nepal work together to promote entrepreneurship education. In comparison to other development projects, cost of this project seems to be negligible. Sometimes, simple things may be very useful to make prosperous society.