By Modnath Dhakal Kathmandu, Jan. 11: The Youth and Small Entrepreneur Self-Employment Fund (YSEF) is set to increase per-entrepreneur financial support to Rs. 500,000. This is a 150 per cent increase to the present fund size of Rs. 200,000. Although the fund was planning to increase the size of the purse for the last few years and entrepreneurs as well as stakeholders had also been suggesting the same, it has come to the position to implement the new provision. Chief of Programme Promotion, Research and Information Department at the YSEF Samjhana Wagle said that the agenda to increase the amount would be approved by the YSEF board meeting which would be held this week. “The new provision would come into effect after its ratification from the Cabinet. It would have been already implemented by now but the cabinet reshuffle delayed the move,” she said. The fund is chaired by the Minister for Youth and Sports, and Dawa Lama Tamang is holding the portfolio now. The YSEF has been supporting young entrepreneurs with Rs. 200,000 concessional loan without collateral, which is mobilised through the local cooperatives, for the last 12 years. Meanwhile, the cost of business establishment and operation has gone significantly up and the money is not enough even to start a small outlet or showroom. Wagle said that the Fund had long been receiving the feedback and suggestions for the increment of the money. To increase the size of the purse and make other timely amendments, the YSEF is amending its bylaws which is necessary to expand investment and include more young entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship development drive. “More than 100 wholesale lenders’ files are pending and we are waiting for the approval of the new bylaws, otherwise the fund would be unable to make investment,” said Wagle. The Fund supports youth entrepreneurs through more than 2000 banks and financial institutions and cooperatives. Interested candidates apply to the cooperatives for the financial support and the Fund provides orientation training to the selected would-be entrepreneurs. The interest rate of the concessional loan is set by the respective BFIs and cooperatives but the interest is subsidised by 60 per cent by the Fund. It has mobilised Rs. 9.63 billion to 73,668 entrepreneurs in 75 districts. The programme is not launched in Mustang and Manang. Likewise, it has created about 34,309 women self-entrepreneurs by mid-June 2020. Of the total loan mobilised, it has recovered Rs. 6.02 billion while Rs. 3.61 billion is still mobilised. About 60 per cent of the total investment is mobilised to agriculture activities such as vegetable farming, animal husbandry, fisheries and poultry.