This case describes the issues and dilemmas facing a social entrepreneur in his efforts to initiate a microfinance operation in the rural agricultural areas of Nepal. Although Nepal government supports microfinance models, a recent civil war severely disrupted government services and worsened poverty. The case covers the recent history of Nepal, the condition of the country’s capital markets, the ALTIS concept and the competitive landscape.
Sanjay is seeking to establish the microfinance enterprise to serve the rural agriculture regions of Nepal, where little to nothing has been done to serve the poor. Sanjay possesses much of the expertise, a high level of motivation and many key stakeholder relationships to help him establish the microfinance enterprise. He has given a lot of thought to the funding needs, financial and technical services components of the client model and the initial management structure. However, there remain a number of issues he has yet to fully consider and he has not developed a clear strategic plan for implementing the enterprise.
The reader is in the position to analyse the external circumstances that both provide great opportunity (i.e., a need exists) and create significant barriers to success. Further, the reader is called on to assess the degree to which Sanjay has considered the roles of different stakeholders and how to effectively engage each of them in the launch of ALTIS. The case is designed to highlight the inherent uncertainties of new enterprise launch, the particular challenges of starting a social enterprise in a developing country, and the role of a variety of stakeholders in influencing the potential success of such as start-up.