‘In Our Hands’ Nepal – Aug 2023-Apr 2024

Weave graphic illustration with text 'In Our Hands. Towards Creative Green Economy in Nepal. Open Call. Deadline: 10 September.' with 7 logos.

With Nepali partners Applied Arts Scotland are delivering a second edition of the In Our Hands: Towards Creative Green Economy in Nepal research and development grants programme.

With the support of experts from Nepal and the UK, the programme offers selected participants the opportunity to articulate their vision for a greener, more equal society by participating in a series of interactive sessions and a multi-disciplinary curriculum prioritising experiential learning. The programme runs from late-September 2023 to March / April 2024..

Timeline of activity (from left to right): '11 Aug-10 Sep, open call for participants. 25-30 Sep, orientation and intro sessions. Sep-Nov, explore and evolve - with the Craft Toolkit. 24 Nov, business plans presented to panel for research grant awards. Dec-Jan 2024, research and refine - participants conduct field research, better understand their supply chain and product life cycle. 13-15 Jan, two residential workshops and development grant pitch event in Kathmandu. Jan-Feb, develop and deliver - participants work on their pilots, brand and market entry. Mar-Apr 2024, showcase and other events - development grantees present their outputs.'

Nepali citizens who meet the eligibility criteria should apply online by 10 September 2023. Women, gender minorities and youth from marginalised and minority communities are encouraged to apply.

Participants’ journeys starts with the Craft Toolkit to consider and capture thinking on their business ideas and models which prioritise outcomes for the community and environment. Participants will also use the Quintuple Bottomline framework (People, Planet, Profit, Purpose, Place) to articulate their business plans to be pitched for research grants. Following research into supply chains, material innovation and external contexts that may impact their business outcomes, participants will gather at a residential workshop to pitch for six development grants to pilot their ideas, develop their brand and value proposition, audience and markets. In Our Hands will conclude with showcase events of development grantees’ projects.

Funded by the British Council Nepal, Applied Arts Scotland with our Scottish partner Edinburgh Napier University’s (ENU) Creative Informatics, has partnered Nepal Art Village and Kathmandu University‘s Schools of Arts and Engineering to deliver the In Our Hands programme. Details of the 2023-2023 programme, including the six grantees, are below. In 2023-2024, programme participants who successfully complete their placements and grant outputs are eligible to receive certificates and credits from Kathmandu University.

In Our Hands is part of the British Council’s Road to COP programme, which Applied Arts Scotland with our Scottish partner Edinburgh Napier University participated in previously via the Road to COP26 Innovation Programme.

2022-2023 PROGRAMME

Graphic representation of weave in brown, green and red, with text 'In Our Hands, Towards creative green economy in Nepal' with British Council and UK Aid logos

Facilitated by the Nepali and UK experts, the 2022-2023 programme consisted of workshops and guided learning, research time in the field, one-on-one mentoring and pitching.

Timeline of in Our Hands Programme from 18 August 2022 Orientation Webinar to Dec 2022-February 2023 Mentoring Period.
In Our Hands timeline

13 participants choose to pitch at the conclusion of the programme.

Gathering of Nepali individuals, both standing and sitting on the floor, in a courtyard, with a digital screen to the left hand side, featuring UK individuals on Zoom.
Conclusion of In Our Hands pitching event

Discover the team with expertise in contemporary crafts and design, circular economy, heritage conservation and environmental sustainability from our UK and Nepal partners.


Six projects were awarded grants, selected through a rigorous process by a wide and diverse range of panellists. The grants support product development, prototyping and user testing, with additional one-on-one mentoring.

Project Green Gold

Hemp is the future. We all know about its production benefits but what about the current waste generated by the hemp industry in Nepal? Manisha and John hope to build on the potential hemp bring to sustainable consumption. The duo is working on a new way of incorporating hemp into the market which can introduce finer and better-quality products which appeal to a wider/modern demand. And this too through reclaimed waste from the existing hemp and other clothing industries. They are currently reliant on other workshops to create products, but with the In Our Hands grants, Manisha and John will be able to secure key resources to fulfil their ambitions.


Artist and Entrepreneur Priyanka from Nepalgunj hopes to collaborate with communities in her locality and across Tarai to help support women gain economic independence through crafts. She wants to upcycle and reuse the discarded textiles commonly found in every household to create accessories, decoration items and much more. This initiative aims to revive cultural outputs that have been replaced by the introduction of new materials like plastics.

Khoriya ko Kaagaj

Rajiya wants to work with the Chepang community to setup a nature-based, community-run industry that will produce products such as paper from agro wastes. Rajiya’s idea promotes traditional indigenous knowledge and enhances the capacity of the locals to archive and industrialize their skills and local available resources to recycle leftover stalk of Amrisso plant, used to make broom, and contribute towards zero waste as well as circular and creative green economy.


Samriddhi comes from a family who has run a paper factory for more than three decades. She believes she can introduce new materials and help the Lokta production become less dependent on ingredients that are now rarer because of climate change. Lokta paper production employs great many people who are vulnerable to the economic impact of a restrictive supply chain. By employing agro and timber waste she hopes to champion a more sustainable paper production. 


Tayama has a vision to create eco-friendly carbon-neutral building materials incorporating cow dung ash. She aims to provide an alternative source of income for Nepali smallholder farmers and an alternate to the existing brick kilns, which contributes to 37% percent of the country’s CO2 emission. Her bricks made up of cow dung ash and limestone are net zero carbon products. 

Wetlands for Nepal

From nuisance to nurturer. As a team of ecologists and engineers, Anu, Nischal and Manoj hope to use nature-based solutions to conserve biodiversity and support wetland restoration while creating benefits for the community through a social enterprise. The team hopes to conserve and promote the fragile ecosystem by managing invasive species of water lettuce that occupy water bodies across the country. Prototyping Jalkumbi growing in Nagdaha into liquid fertiliser and insecticide, the initiative employs local youth to produce agro-resources within a community which relies predominantly on agrarian income. 


In Our Hands grantees launched their projects to invited guests on 22 February 2023 and showcased their work to the public on 23 February 2023 in the courtyard of Aksheswar Mahabihar monastery, Lalitpur.

Graphic representation of weave in brown, green and red, with text 'In Our Hands, Towards Creative Green Economy, Exhibition, 23 February 2023, 10am-5pm, Aksheswar Mahabihar, Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Project Showcases: Gitta, Khoriya ka Kaagaj, Wetlands for Nepal, Bhwom, Project Green Gold, Kattran' with British Council, UK Aid, Applied Arts Scotland, Edinburgh Napier Universtiy, Kathmandu University, National Innovation Centre, Nepal Art Village logos.
Two people stood next to 2 plinths displaying raw materials, paper and paper products and a bamboo display stand with branding and a screen showing someone holding up handmade paper. All in a monastery courtyard.
Khoriya ko Kaagaj

In Our Hands is delivered by faculty from Kathmandu University, Edinburgh Napier University, experts from Applied Arts Scotland, and Nepal Art Village supported by the National Innovation Centre.

Strip of logos for the British Council, Nepal Art Village, Kathmandu University, National Innovation Centre, Edinburgh Napier University