The training is intended to turn a generation of jobseekers into job creators 

BOiC/MoL: A decade after he graduated from Sherubtse College and working part time with media houses, Sonam Rinchen, 32, is set to start his own business of producing local snacks such as noodles and chips.

He started his dream project, Gaki Food Processing unit after he applied for a loan with the Business Opportunity & Information Centre (BOiC). “I had this idea to set up a food processing unit for more than four years,” he said.

Sonam Rinchen said that the main factor that prevented him from starting his dream was the lack of financial support.  He said, although he could have obtained loans from other financial institutes, the interest rates were too high for him.

The BOiC has approved seed money of Nu 7M (million) and, as of now, he has been given more than Nu 1.5M for the construction of his processing unit at Begana, Thimphu.

With a commerce background, Sonam has employed 13 Bhutanese from all walks of life to help set up his unit.  Some of his employees are class 10 and 12 dropouts, villagers and a graduate.  He hopes to employ 15 more during his production, which he expects to start from September this year. Similarly, in order to foster more graduates into entrepreneurship, BOiC, in collaboration with the ministry of labour and human resources, have initiated a training programme for graduates to opt for creating their own jobs in manufacturing and production sector.

BOiC will provide training to interested college graduates, registered with the ministry as “jobseekers”, who will be offered training on business opportunities in manufacturing and production in the country for two months.  The graduates will be engaged in conducting feasibility studies related to manufacturing and production sectors.

The selected graduates will be paid Nu 3,000 a month during the training.  If their proposals are found feasible, BOiC will fund the projects further.

According to head of public relations and media with BOiC, Sonam Choden, the programme will in turn create more employment opportunities. “Our aim is to create a culture of job-creators among the graduates instead of job-seekers,” she said.

The programme will take in 80 graduates a year.  The first batch of 20 graduates will work as attaches with the BOiC from next month.

According to BOiC, it claims to have facilitated employment to 107 individuals under the small and cottage industries, which created about 600 more job opportunities for others to work with them.

As of March this year, BOiC funded projects have generated employment for 1,571 individuals.

By Younten Tshedup