Title

Vasudhara Lodge: A Social Venture Plan for Women’s Empowerment Through Community Based Eco-Tourism

Publication Date

Summer 2016

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Venkatesh Raghavendra

Abstract

This paper presents a social venture plan for Vasudhara Lodge, a community-based ecotourism project designed to address a need for female-friendly tourist destinations and a system of gender inequality and rural poverty in of Nepal. Vasudhara Lodge will operate on a for-profit model, using room and restaurant purchases, and other service and product fees to support community re-investment. The Lodge is built and maintained using green practices for construction, products, services, waste, water and energy. The Lodge adheres to a Community-Based Ecotourism methodology, to address community need, human rights, and local decision-making involvement. Vasudhara will contribute to economic empowerment of the local community, and of women in particular, through an interwoven platform of employment, microfinance, microinvesting and a girls’ education fund. The paper includes the social enterprise Theory of Change, financial plan, operations management and implementation plan and a section that describes the social innovation theory that informed development of the model.

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