The Road to COP26 Innovation Grant Programme aims to support the development of new, exciting and innovative ideas for sustainable businesses in Nepal that harness nature-based and craft-related solutions to promote positive environmental impact and climate change resilience. The programme supports ideas in craft and related sectors that empower the most vulnerable people who are first to feel the effects of climate change. 

The Innovation Grant Programme is for individuals and teams from diverse backgrounds who have ideas grounded in nature-based processes and craft-related practices that protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges like climate change. Those excited about creative problem-solving and committed to developing ideas to realise climate change resilience in Nepal (and perhaps beyond) through their entrepreneurial capacities would be best suited for this opportunity.

Your idea can be completely new or something you have been working on already, though we expect as a minimum that you have begun to discover more about and define your idea. The idea could be for a new object, service or process, or for improvements to ones that already exist, and for small or large businesses. You can apply as an individual or a team. No education or disciplinary qualifications are required to apply. 

As part of our commitment to deliver an inclusive programme, we encourage applications from anyone and would particularly welcome applications from females, young people, people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.  

Meet our innovation grantees!

After incubating 40 sustainable business ideas using the quadruple bottom-line (People, Planet, Profit, Purpose), the #RoadToCOP26 Innovation Grant Programme has selected six (6) grantees to move into the next stage of mentoring and financial support. Experts will be supporting their nature/craft-based supply chains ideas to deliver eco-social benefits in the long-term. From circular economy to material innovation, our grantees are committed to developing creative businesses solutions for #InclusiveGrowth that contribute to Nepal’s #ClimateAction.



Aashish Shrestha, Sajan Satyal, Sauhadra Sigdel and Shreya Acharya are mechanical engineers interested in traditional machines. Together, as Aauzar, they aim to develop an upcycled loom that can create impact at the intersections of gender and climate change by supporting home-based artisans with cost-effective upgrades to weaving.

Mhendo Play

Bhawana Tulachan is an illustrator and designer who has been working with books and other contents for children. She wants to combine her passion for Nepali culture and craft while advocating for sustainability and eco-friendly habits. Bhawana aims to design and produce a new line of toys for children employing artisan skills and natural materials to provide parents with plastic-free alternatives while providing a living for indigenous makers. 


As a designer from Bhaktapur, Dhiraj Manandhar has witnessed first-hand how foreign import can disrupt local material culture. Addressing the potential of the growing yogurt industry of his city, Dhiraj’s idea explores the relationship between people and material – employing innovation and cultural practices to design more sustainable relationships that supports growth but does not ignore its environmental costs.


Pyangaun is a small settlement in Godwari Municipality which was known for its bamboo containers called pyang. Lost to history, Pyangaun’s skilled artisanal labor and heritage is at risk of complete loss. Alina and Aman wish to revitalize the community by reorienting the community’s practice to appeal to modern sensibilities. Working with an entire community of creators, the duo hope to apply material skills and knowledge to wider application than its traditional grounding.

Thun- Lam

Lead by a group of three women, Thun-Lam aims to preserve the livelihoods of drokpas (nomads) in upper Mustang without impacting the surrounding eco-system. Partnering with the community, the group aim to employ their traditional use of yak hair in creating new, innovative and contemporary goods that can generate income and contribute to the drokpas economic and #ClimateResilience.


Tekka is a community of young entrepreneurs invested in women’s economic empowerment. Through technical and financial support, Tekka encourages women to revisit the value of underutilized biodegradable agri-waste to inspire new opportunities while mitigating environmental problems created by unmanaged waste.

Road to COP26 is a campaign of activities in the lead up to the next UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in the UK in Glasgow, Scotland (1-12 November 2021). It is implemented by the British Council and is sponsored by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Nepal. The Innovation Grant Programme is a partnership between Kathmandu University with Applied Arts Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University. The programme is supported by the British Council’s Crafting Futures programme and the National Innovation Centre Nepal.

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