Entrepreneurial drive among the young people is still at an embroyonic stage, according to labour ministry’s study on assessment of entrepreneurial intentions amongst university graduates.

While the young demography is indicative of potential pool of entrepreneurs, the study has found that social norms are more influential and that this directs youth to take up salaried jobs.

“Career in entrepreneurship is still viewed with some degree of scepticism,” the report said. This is in contrast to the global phenomena where entrepreneurs drive economic progress of a country and create more jobs.

More than 2,000 graduates from national graduate orientation programme 2015 were interviewed for the study.

The labour ministry has identified that low level of entrepreneurial education in schools and tertiary institutes as a deterring factor in promoting entrepreneurship.

“Most tertiary education institutes offer traditional academic courses that generate employees rather than employers,” it stated.

The survey also found that most graduates and parents perceive creating jobs as a responsibility of the ministry. “The notion that government should create jobs must change and entrepreneurship should be encouraged as a viable career choice.”

It has been found that graduates with business management courses have higher likelihood to opt for entrepreneurship as career choice. There is also a higher correlation between entrepreneurial intention of jobseekers and their parents’ jobs. Probability of youth venturing into business increases if their parents own business or earn higher income.

The study also found that female graduates are less likely to opt for entrepreneurship.

Current economic and social conditions, according to the study, are not favourable for new startups. This is because starting new business is expensive and there is less community support.

To improve entrepreneurship scenario in the country, the study has recommended establishing a business research centre that would serve as a resource for those with limited idea.

Availability of a small seed grant from the government or a collateral-free loan is also recommended. In particular, youth credit guarantee scheme should be specifically designed for people aged 14-24.

“Initiatives like Rural Enterprise Development Scheme and reduction of interest rate have not resonated into entrepreneurial activities,” the study stated.

Support of private sector, especially the successful ones, is deemed crucial for the new startups. In this sense, faculty members of tertiary educational institutes also require more knowledge on the ground functionalities of businesses.

The study thus recommends the need for business counsellors. Entrepreneurship clubs in the school is also recommended.

Tshering Dorji