Sandeep Shrestha


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Сareer/Professional experience:
Business Development Officer - Galileo IIIC, Sept 2020 onwards
ESG and Impact Manager - Dolma Impact Fund, March 2017 onwards
Program Director - Dolma Foundation, July 2015 to February 2017
Director - Fair Trade Group Nepal, April 2014 to June 2015
PR Specialist - Equality Pathways to Potential, February 2012 to January 2014
MBA, 2011, St Cloud State University, USA
Bachelor of Science in Marketing, 2008, St Cloud State University, USA
Bachelor of Business Administration, 2005, Kathmandu University, Nepal
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Sandeep Shrestha is a sustainability professional bringing 10 years of knowledge in sustainable business, impact assessment, communications, and capacity building. He has experiences working in private sectors and non-profits in the USA and Nepal. Sandeep has built his expertise in IFC Performance Standards and Fair Trade, enterprise development, project management, monitoring and evaluation. As environmental and social specialist, he works with DFI’s and SME’s to assess and manage ongoing E&S performance and risk management.
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Dolma Fund Management announces the first close of Dolma Impact Fund II (Dolma II) – a private equity fund investing primarily in renewable energy, healthcare and technology in Nepal. Investors in this $40m first close are FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank; CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor; Swedfund, the Swedish development finance institution; and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The final close is targeted at $75m. 

The timing is important as COVID cases rise in Nepal, following the trend in India. Dolma II’s target sectors will directly address capacity constraints in healthcare and enable digital solutions to scale rapidly that will be vital both during and following the pandemic. Pre-COVID, Nepal was one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, achieving GDP growth rates of between 6.7% and 8.2% in 2017-2019, according to the World Bank, as it continues its journey towards Middle-Income status. Even in 2020, Nepal outperformed its South Asian peers. Dolma II is part of a shift towards increased foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nepal, a country with a population of almost 30 million. Dolma II follows the success of Dolma Impact Fund I (Dolma I) which pioneered institutional FDI and Environmental and Social standards from 2014 in this high-growth emerging market. 

Dolma I’s portfolio includes almost 50 MW of renewable energy, some of the country’s leading AI and e-commerce firms, and much-needed pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical care. Other foreign investment successes in Nepal include an internet service provider, mobile telco, and hydropower projects, while long-established multinationals such as Standard Chartered, Unilever, and Coca-Cola continue to thrive in the country. To further accelerate FDI, the Nepal Invests platform was launched last month by CDC, FMO, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

Tim Gocher, CEO, Dolma Fund Management said: “Our second fund is an international vote of confidence in Nepal’s private sector and talent. Our first fund demonstrated the commercial and impact opportunities in Nepal. Dolma Impact Fund II is a big step to opening these opportunities to a broader set of foreign investors to whom impact is a priority”. 

Jaap Reinking, Director Private Equity, FMO said: “As an anchor investor in Dolma Impact Fund I, we’re excited to invest in Dolma Fund Management’s second fund. Not only does this support our ambitions towards accelerating climate action, financial inclusion, and reducing inequalities, it also focuses on improving environmental and social conditions for many Nepalese workers and businesses. We are proud to support Dolma Fund Management as it will invest in the emerging tech sector and much-needed healthcare services and jobs in Nepal.” 

Srini Nagarajan, Managing Director and Head of Asia, CDC Group, commented: “Following the launch of Nepal Invests, CDC’s investment in Dolma Impact Fund II reiterates our commitment to helping draw greater FDI to Nepal, particularly into sectors, such as renewable energy, technology, healthcare, and education, where there are opportunities for high social impact. We are pleased that our commitment will play a role in supporting the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery, help enhance digitization, boost skills development and facilitate a thriving and resilient economy.” 

Gunilla Nilsson, Head of Energy & Climate, Swedfund, said: “Dolma Impact Fund II focuses on Swedfund’s three core sectors (renewable energy, financial inclusion, and healthcare) while technology and increased digitalization are over-arching themes for us. A strong driving force behind our investment is to increase the number of decent jobs in the formal sector and stimulate the local economy in Nepal. We are pleased that the fund is also expected to contribute to women's economic empowerment and meets the 2X Challenge criteria.” 

Babacar S. Faye, Resident Representative, IFC commented: “Private equity funds can be an important source of capital and expertise for local entrepreneurs in Nepal—particularly in allowing them to expand their businesses, create more jobs, and provide essential goods and services. IFC is working towards deepening the private equity market in Nepal. Dolma is our second investment in this sector, and we hope that this will have a demonstration effect, beyond the financial returns, and attract more investments. This market will continue to grow if also supported by additional enabling reforms.” 

Dolma Impact Fund I and II target risk-adjusted market returns while their impact is aligned to Nepal’s SDG targets. For SDG 5 – Gender Equality, Dolma II qualifies for the 2X Challenge, to drive gender balance in the portfolio. For SDG 8, 9, and 10 – relating to Work, Industry, and Inequality, Dolma I’s portfolio companies generated quality employment for almost 5,000 people in Nepal since 2014. The majority of these jobs are for youth under 35. Over the same period, an estimated 2 million mostly young workers left Nepal to work abroad. For SDG 7 and 13 – Clean Energy and Climate Action, Dolma I’s renewable energy portfolio will avoid 219,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Further reducing polluting emissions in Dolma II is a priority as the Himalayan glaciers are set to lose two-thirds of their mass in a business-as-usual scenario, according to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), threatening the 600m people living downstream with devastating floods.

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Chepangs living in absolute poverty in Nepal are starving for weeks due to COVID-19 lock down. IIAD is collaborating with local communities and support partners to provide basic food for Chepangs in Jimling and other Chepang communities in Nepal. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown have resulted in a loss of economic opportunities and income for daily wage workers and Chepang community people, and have severely impacted their access to food, especially daily wage workers and Chepang community people, of which 90% live below the poverty line. 

Your donation will help provide essential food items. 

  • Rice (25 kgs) 

  • Lentils (Daal) (2 kgs) 

  • Beans (2 kgs) 

  • Oil (1 ltr) 

  • Salt (2 kgs) 

  • Soap (5 pcs) 

This fundraising campaign is a collaborative effort of the Institue of Indegeneous Affairs and Development (IIAD) (Non-Profit), Pariwartak Nepal (NGO), JMT Youth Club Association (Rapti, Chitwan), Youth for Agri, Bairen Agro Consultant and Traders, working together to support vulnerable communities of Nepal affected by lockdown during COVID-19. 

*All of your donations will be used towards supporting the families – there will be no administrative / overhead costs.* 


Let’s work together to provide families with the essential food items they need. Participate as you can, any contribution makes a huge difference! 

Bank Transfer 

A/C No: 0040560005015 

A/C Name: Maskey Radhika Shrestha 

Bank: Nepal Investment Bank Limited 

Branch: Pulchowk 


International Donations 

Thank you.

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We are so accustomed to having basic necessities at our fingertips. Even if we run out of things, we can walk to a nearby convenience store or to giant superstores and replenish our supplies. This is not the case for indigenous Chepangs residing in Jimling village of Nepal. They need to travel 7 hours to the nearest marketplace to purchase basic items. On top of this travel time, add logistics and food cost and they end up paying more for items despite them living in absolute poverty. Institute for Indigenous Affairs and Development supported a local Chepang woman to setup a retail shop with an investment of USD 2,000. Now she manages her shop and earns between USD 50 - 100 per month. Her community members save valuable time and money as they can find all necessary items locally. Small things can create the biggest impact. Read more at:
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I was quite humbled to be invited to speak on how social enterprises can create subsistence marketplaces in a post-covid world in the Second Virtual Subsistence Marketplaces Conference organized by Loyola Marymount University, USA. Nepal’s labor force is dependent on foreign employment and remittances. Majority of people work in informal sectors and as daily wage workers. COVID-19 has meant many people going back home with some savings and valuable skills. Social Enterprise like Institute for Indigenous Affairs and Development is working with Chepang Communities, the most marginalized indigenous people of Nepal. By investing in and with local communities, we are creating an economic ecosystem and subsistence marketplace for the communities to uplift their livelihood and socio-economic status. You can contact me to learn more about our initiatives or if you want me to invite me as a guest speaker in your University or Programs to share my experiences on social entrepreneurship and subsistence marketplaces. Thank you.
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We are quite accustomed to thinking linearly. Last year, I got certification in Social Impact Assessment from University of Strathclyde. Social Impact is about looking at all the various risks and impacts, whether negative or positive, that is created by your business and identifying ways and measures to mitigate and manage them. A simple example is, if you are building a hydropower project, how will the construction and operations activities impact the social dimensions in the communities and in individuals. These could be through loss of access to water resources, pollution, or lost of land and livelihood. On a positive side, it could lead to economic opportunities and increased access to resources. Currently, I am taking advanced course on Social Risk Assessment from Ergon. As I began the course, I fundamentally thought the two were similar, but as I am half-way into the course and implementing my learning, I realize that Social Risk Management is different from Social Impact Assessment. Social Risk Management looks at a Matrix known as ASCOPE/PMESII to identify various social risks that could affect your business and how you categorize and develop mitigation measures. PMESSI looks at political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information risks in the ASCOPE dimensions of area, structures, organizations, capabilities, people, and events. Social Impact Assessment looks at how your business can impact the society and ecosystem services and means and measures to manage it to not let it disrupt your business. However, Social Risk Management looks at various external factors and events that can affect your business and means and methods to manage it. Though both approaches are to manage social risks and impacts, the approach is multi-dimensional and not linear. You can reach me to support you on any Social Impact Assessment and Social Risk Management support for your business. Thank you.
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Do you want to understand Environmental and Social Impact Assessment process? If so, check out these short videos from Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment!

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The ‘S’ in ESG gains currency

By Manjit Jus in

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ESG funds defy havoc to ratchet huge inflows

When markets went into freefall last spring, investors fled mutual funds apart from one sector: sustainable investing.

This area — where environmental, social and governance issues are factored into investment decisions — had long been viewed as niche, often the preserve of charitable foundations and religious orders. 

But 2020 “was the year ESG came of age”, said Mirza Baig, global head of ESG research and stewardship at Aviva Investors, the UK fund house.

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Every country has different climate risks. Then there is climate inequality. Most people at greatest risk from climate change live in low- and mid-income regions. A 2019 study found that climate change has already deepened global economic inequality by around 25 percent.

In Nepal, black carbon accumulation in the Himalayas poses climate risks to over a billion population in South Asia due to GLOB flooding, greatly impacting livelihood, crops, infrastructure, settlements, aquatic life and biodiversity. 

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