A locally elected representative and the owner of three small enterprises—a grocery store, a clothing shop, and a poultry farm—Min Prasad Neupane is a household success story in Barangdi, Palpa, a small hilly town in rural Nepal. His story is one with many ups and downs, learnings and failures, realizations and hardships— experiences that were fundamental in shaping his leadership journey. 

Min Prasad was one of the very few people in his village to receive a Bachelor’s degree in English. Everyone expected him to either move to the city and find a white-collar job or look for opportunities outside of Nepal. Succumbing to societal expectations, he moved to Dubai as a migrant worker. But a few years of arduous experiences there brought him back to his hometown. Aiming to do something in his village upon his return, he partnered with Prabin Bhattarai, a like-minded youth, and started a dairy farm with an investment of NPR 8 lakhs. A year into this initially successful enterprise, Min was selected as one of the top 5 rural entrepreneurs in Palpa under Daayitwa’s Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP). That was when he participated in the “Leading Enterprise Innovation” course offered by Nepal Leadership Academy, which he considers to have been a launching pad to his successful leadership journey. 

An important milestone in his journey came soon after the leadership course when he got elected as a local representative of his ward. Pointing to how the learnings from the course played a pivotal role in his victory, he says, “How to speak well in public, how to tell my story effectively, how to organize, inspire, and motivate people and rally people behind a cause, how to build good relationships and win the community’s trust, all these things were taught in the leadership course, which helped me run a successful election campaign.” Today, Min has been serving as a local representative of his ward for almost three years and exercises leadership to enable local farmers by promoting infrastructures necessary for modernized agriculture in his district.

On the other side of his professional life, Min owns and runs three small enterprises, two of which are customer-facing. To sustain the enterprises, Min has to attract and build good relations with his customers. Here too, he uses learnings from the leadership course to build intentional relationships with the various stakeholders through one-on-one conversations and collaborations rooted on shared values. He is a better shopkeeper because he knows how to pitch his products and build trust with his clients, both of which are important leadership skills for an entrepreneur.

Having achieved so much by the young age of 30, Min is an example to follow for the youth in his village. His story is an attestation to the possibility of youths creating opportunities at home and not having to work abroad in harmful conditions to earn a decent living. When youths in his village come to him for career advice, Min is able to listen to them, empathize, and help them find their calling. Min hopes to continue leading by example by serving his community as a local ward representative and showing the youths that there are enough opportunities for the willing in the village itself.