Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

A 15-day basic entrepreneurship training concluded with the selection of the top four startups in Tsirang yesterday. 

The business ideas pitched were mostly related to agribusiness. However, the ideas selected were varied, such as an animal feed agent, fitness studio, spa, and event management. Each winner won Nu 50,000 in prize money. 

Some of the observers said that most of the ideas were doable. 

Before pitching business ideas, 27 participants, who were mostly laid-off workers and youth, were trained in entrepreneurship. A participant, Peldon, said: “During this training, I learned the basics of how a business operates, including goal setting and how to write business proposals.”

Karishma Rai, 26, works at a daycare centre in Tsirang and was among the winners. She wants to open a Zumba fitness studio in the town next year. “I am verifying a few things. I need a proper space to run the business.”

A Zumba enthusiast, Karishma Rai hopes to attract people from different age groups to join the fitness class. 

Sangay Lhamo had to close down her spa in Paro due to the pandemic. Without work and income, she faced a lot of challenges. With the prize money, she wants to restart the spa business. “I’ll invest the money into buying raw materials such as massage oil and cream.”

Although the spa business is not popular among Bhutanese, she said that she wants to learn different treatment methods from around the world and turn her business into an inclusive one that provides services to the elderly and the people with special needs. 

Juma Kanta Katel has been running Samrat Feed Agent for the past month. Since the quality of animal feed is decreasing in the country, he said that dairy farmers encouraged him to start the business. “We have been running the business successfully.”

He plans to produce the feed within the country once the business picks up in the future. 

Kinley Dorji, who is the chief of the  Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment Division (ESED) under the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR), said that not all participants will avail post-training services, but the skills acquired won’t go to waste. 

Tsirang Dzongrab Namgay Dorji, who attended the closing session, said that this type of training has benefitted several startups seeking to start successful businesses in the dzongkhag.

This is the second batch of trainees who attended the course in Tsirang. 

Namgay Dorji reminded the participants to make use of the skills and opportunities provided, and also of the importance of proper labelling and packaging of products. 

The dzongkhag conducted the training with the support of the MoLHR. 

Edited by Tshering Palden