The first pitching on the Jab-Chor platform saw five entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to investors in Thimphu yesterday.

Of the five business ideas presented at the pitching, Freelancer Bhutan—a freelance portal to provide services to the clients was one of them.

Promoter Nima Moktan, said the portal allows clients to post and freelancers to bid for the projects under categories like web, mobile and software development, graphic design, data science and analytics, accounting and consulting, translation, sales and marketing, among others.

“Freelancer Bhutan operates as a Tech Hub where we provide services in the global market through the freelance portal. Today Freelancer Bhutan focuses on programming and tech only.”

Freelancer Bhutan seeks additional fund for the business to purchase office furniture, machinery and stationaries and to establish training institute to create young Bhutanese workforce with skills and knowledge for the business.

Chechay Sanitary Pads, a business idea led by the only female entrepreneur at the pitching, Pema Chozom said 43 percent of Bhutanese women including 50 percent nuns lack access to sanitary pads.

She pitched her idea to produce sanitary pads with comfortable features at a cheaper rate. Pema Chozom said the capital raised would be used for purchase of machine and Bolero among others. Her market would be central schools, hospitals, nunneries and rural settlements., a real state agency market in the country also was one of the business ideas pitched. The agency provides real state agency, property management, and handyman services among others.

Promoter Jigme Tenzin said that was among the top 15 innovative startups by US department of states in 2016 from 126 emerging economics at Silicon Valley, USA hosted by former US president Barack Obama. “A record of 400 cases on disputed properties is reported in court of law in Thimphu alone. While on the other hand there are 5,000 residential buildings in Thimphu that recorded 375 cases of tenancy dispute per annum in Thimphu alone.”

Among five business ideas pitched yesterday, two were on waste management.

Eco Waste Solution was set up to efficiently manage increasing waste in Wangdue and Punakha. Promoter Dhan Kumar Shyangden said that the next significant step towards fulfilling the goal of effective waste management system was to build and operate transfer station or material recovery centre. “The transfer station is a centre where the waste are segregated and processed for recycling which increases the life span of the landfill. The probability of the project and its viability correlates to the mounting growth of solid waste with increase in population.”

Also to address the growing waste challenges, Green path—another business idea was pitched.

Green Path works with hotels and restaurants of Trashigang town to collect reusable items.

Promoter Sangay Gempo said the equity from Jab-Chorpas would be used to install waste segregation machines and transportation vehicles to upscale the current initiatives.”

Royal Monetary Authority Governor Dasho Penjore sought investors’ contribution to nurture the entrepreneurs.

Institutions such as the Tech Park would select youth groups with potential ideas requiring equity as seed or startup fund while Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides formal channel to coordinate the participation of investors through registration process. The company registry division will facilitate understandings of contract terms, business rules and mediate entrepreneurs with support from RMA legal team while the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan will help entrepreneurs develop the offer document and carry out an evaluation process to select the startups for the pitching.

Jab-Chor is a platform to bring together young entrepreneurs and startups that need early stage financing with individuals and companies who have the capital and are willing to invest.

The pilot initiative was inspired by the concept of angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who provide entrepreneurs and startups with capital during the early stages of business, in return for ownership equity.

Phurpa Lhamo