Eleven entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to the business accelerator fund panel for access to Business Acceleration Programme (BizAP) fund at Financial Institutions Training Institute (FITI) in Thimphu today.
Twelve entrepreneurs pitched their businesses yesterday.
Recognising funding as one of the major challenges in entrepreneurship, Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) would provide a maximum amount of Nu 500, 000 to entrepreneurs who attended the acceleration programme.
DHI officials said entrepreneurs needed to pay an administrative fee of five percent every year. The fund will be provided without interest, collateral or any ownership to their businesses. The entrepreneur will only need to repay the principal loan amount.
Officials said the gestation period for the fund was one year currently. “The tenure within which an entrepreneur needs to pay off the fund will depend upon the success of the business,” an official said.
Twenty-five entrepreneurs completed the BizAP, which spanned about 33 days beginning October 13, last year.
DHI initiated the BizAP in an effort to develop capacity for entrepreneurs. The programme was aimed at helping entrepreneurs who already have businesses or entrepreneurs who are at an advanced stage of launching their businesses.
One of the participants, Jigme Thinley Yoezer Rinzin said the programme helped him understand his place in the business community. “There was intense guidance, mentoring and support.”
He said the programme made a difference. “The methods were tested and it has affected our business. It changed the way we plan our business and we even found new partners among the participants.”
Founder of Druk Alternatives, Leki Dawa said the training involved one to one mentoring sessions, which was helpful. “The programme was first of a kind as it helped improve my methods of business to manage finance and validating our customers.”
The training focused on value proposition, defining target market, seeking market feedback on product or technology and having determined effective business model for an enterprise.
DHI collaborated with IC2 Institute under the University of Texas, USA as a partner Institute for entrepreneurship training methodology.
According to a press release from DHI, the organisation would help entrepreneurs establish mentoring relationships to help them set up and run their businesses successfully. “Entrepreneurs, who have undergone the training programme, would be paired with local or international entrepreneurs who can offer strategic advice to accelerating the business,” it stated.
DHI will also monitor and evaluate the performance of the entrepreneurs and their businesses to ensure the success of the venture.
These entrepreneurs would have a reference visit to New Delhi, India in the second week of February.