LONDON: Dolma Impact Fund (DIF)— ‘the first impact investment fund for Nepal’—is launched in London.
DIF is a commercial investment fund providing growth capital to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nepal and also a bridge to world-leading technology and research institutions, as well as educational programmes, which will help businesses scale and deliver profitable solutions to low-income communities, according to the organisers.
Addressing a programme organised to launch the Dolma Impact Fund at the Nepali embassy in London on Thursday (May 17), David Grigson, director, DIF, recalled his trip to Nepal and said it was a great benefit for Nepal to have big countries like China and India on its borders. Grigson, who is also the chairman of the Trinity Mirror Plc, said businesses should have very high ethical values and work tirelessly to uphold them.
The Trinity Mirror plc is one of the UK's largest newspaper publishers with five national newspapers, over 130 regional newspapers and 500-plus digital products.
Making an audio-visual presentation, founder and chairman of the Dolma Impact Fund, Tim Gocher, said he first visited Nepal in 2003 and was impressed by the sustainable life style of local communities in the Langtang region. He then narrated how he was motivated to set up the Dolma Development Fund (www.dolmafund.org)-- a UK-registered charity-- after encountering a Nepali girl in the foothills of the Himalayas.
“Building on the nine-year-long experience gathered by the Dolma Development Fund, Dolma Impact Fund has been launched to fuse Nepal experience with institutional fund management expertise,” said Tim adding, “The DDF will continue to exist as a UK charity, receiving a share of DIF profits as donations to continue its philanthropic work in Nepal.”
Referring to the political and economic developments that have taken place since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government of Nepal and the then Maoist rebels in 2006, Tim expressed confidence that Nepal would continue to register a respectable economic growth in the future and that it was right time to invest in Nepal.
He said agriculture, dairy, health, water and sanitation, education, renewable, information and communication technologies and eco-tourism,
among others, were attractive sectors for foreign investment.
“The Fund’s launch comes as a result of two converging trends. The first is the growth of capital being invested in developing markets targeting financial as well as social and environmental returns. The second is the continued political stability and economic growth in Nepal which has culminated in the establishment of the Nepal Investment Board and Nepal Investment Year 2012-13,” said Tim.
Addressing the programme, Nepal’s envoy to the UK, Dr Suresh Chandra Chalise, said the Dolma Impact Fund embraced the new spirit of commerce, combined with the goal of alleviating poverty. “We are honoured that this team of internationally-renowned experts in finance, business, politics and academia, is committed to promote private international capital to help more businesses in Nepal. I am sure it’s going to be a win-win proposition for both sides,” said Ambassador Chalise.
Representatives from leading British companies, academia and media were present in the function.