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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) works for regional integration in South Asia, through policy, dialog and engagement with the eight country governments. The SAARC Charter includes the uplift of the people in the region through innovative and significant initiatives, targeting poverty alleviation.

The Independent South Asia Commission on Poverty Alleviation (ISACPA) was established in order to exclusively address poverty related issues and suggest strategies and measures for poverty alleviation. Subsequently, the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) was launched to meet this objective. 

A concrete outcome of the meetings to articulate SAARC objectives and Millennium Development Goals (MDG), was a felt need to focus on the empowerment of women workers in the informal sector within the SAARC region.

In line with this outcome, the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), India and HomeNet South Asia (HNSA) have been assigned a project by the SDF to carry out the mission of women’s empowerment in the region, by targeting poor & marginalized home based women workers from the informal sector of all SAARC member states (except India). As one of the first goals of implementing this initiative, the home-based workers expressed a need to create a business organization, hence the SAARC Business Association of Home-based Workers (SABAH) was established. 

The focus of this regional initiative was to establish Trade FAcilitation Centres (TFCs) based on the model of the SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre. 

Dhaka weave

A social Business Organization

SABAH Nepal is a community based social-business organization which works towards strengthening the livelihoods of financially deprived and marginalized home based workers (HBW) of the informal sector in Nepal. 

SABAH Nepal identifies and brings together local HBWs/artisans in a group and empowers them through intensive skill enhancement trainings, leadership trainings, exposure visits, market awareness and other capacity building programs. They are also provided with a whole range of business development inputs ranging from market readiness, market linkages, market intelligence, quality standardization, R&D to product development. 

Our Vision

Our vision is to become a leading social business organization that provides dignified decent work and income to the maximum number of home-based workers at various stages of the value chain.


Our Mission

To strengthen the livelihoods of home-based workers by enabling them to produce market oriented quality products through effective organizing and capacity building, and linking them to the global market through various marketing strategies.

Our strategy

While working on its mission SABAH Nepal uses four pronged strategy


SABAH Nepal organizes the dispersed homebased workers together to form a group so that their voices are heard.

Capacity Building

SABAH Nepal helps in the skill enhancement of the home based artisans through various trainings and other capacity building programs.

Design intervention

SABAH Nepal helps the artisans in the production of quality goods through design intervention, technology, and quality standardization.

Market linkages

SABAH NEPAL links them to the national/regional/global market through various competitive marketing strategies backed by research, data management and networking with national and international markets.

Home-based workers in Nepal

According to a survey, there are approximately 0.8  million home-based workers in Nepal, a majority of these being women.  HBWs are mostly engaged in traditional industries like weaving, embroidery, woodcarving, tailoring and lack proper skills to directly participate in the market economy.  They contribute significantly to their families, communities, and national economies, however, they remain uncounted, and remain invisible in national statistics. They are unprotected by the law and are often exploited.

Who are Home Based Workers

Home-based workers are those who produce goods or provide services from in or around their own home, including in a structure attached to their home. The term home-based workers refers to two types of workers who carry out paid work in or around their homes