Kesha Pariyar (Kesh Kumari Damini), Chairperson of National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation (NMEFEN) has been conferred globally coveted Business for Peace Award 2014. She was honored Amidst a special program at the City Hall, Oslo, the place where Nobel Peace Prize is held every year. Damini was one among six personalities chosen by the Independent Award Committee Comprising of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics. The annual award is given to individual business leaders who have fostered peace and stability through private enterprise, doing ethical business practices and creating shared value for the society.
According to a press released issued by UNDP, Kesha is cited for her leadership and success in mobilizing micro entrepreneurs, mainly women, to become self-employed and overcome discrimination.
Receiving the award, Kesha said, "This honor comes with greater responsibility. I will continue to work for the benefit of poor and marginalized women in Nepal. I want all women in Nepal to become empowered and independent.”
Kesha is one of the 70,000 beneficiaries of Micro Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP)—a joint initiative of Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Industry (GoN-MoI) and UNDP and funded by Australian Aid. She leads NMEFEN, national federation of 70,000 Micro Entrepreneurs of the Country and advocates for Micro Entrepreneur friendly policies and programs that advance gender and social inclusion.
Micro Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP) is a joint initiative Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Industry (GoN-MoI) and UNDP. She was nominated by UNDP Nepal. Since 1998, it has created over 70,000 Micro Entrepreneurs. Recently, the government has internalized MEDEP into Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) and implementing across all districts across the country with an aim of creating 73,000 new Micro Entrepreneurs. Currently, Australian Aid is the major donor of the program.