In what is a welcome sign, entrepreneurs could get much-needed guidance and handholding as they venture into the challenging world of business and competition through a new online platform. 

The Innovate Bhutan E-Mentorship Platform has a user-friendly interface, mentor reviews by mentees, and a flexible schedule for mentors both local and those abroad. As more of our youths are complete skilling programmes, such a platform could fill the gap to connect aspiring entrepreneurs in the country with professionals to create entrepreneurial solutions. 

The launch of the platform also marks a paradigm shift in Bhutan’s entrepreneurial narrative. With startups scattered across the country, some entrepreneurs simply cannot sustain on their own without proper guidance or mentorship. In such a situation, it is easier for even the most passionate entrepreneur to close shop as they run out of ideas. It also symbolises a leap into an era where dreams find nurturing, innovation thrives, and mentorship transcends boundaries. We need more such platforms for our entrepreneurs to realise their potential.

As Bhutan steps into this new dawn, it’s not just a platform but a promise – a promise that entrepreneurial spirits are nurtured, and that Bhutan’s youth stand ready to lead their nation into a future of prosperity. 

A vibrant entrepreneurship system can yield strong small and medium enterprises which can serve as a source of entrepreneur skills, innovation and employment. These factors can stimulate competition for prices, product design, and efficiency. SMEs also help big enterprises such as supplying raw materials and parts and distributing products made by them. 

Today, aspiring entrepreneurs cite numerous challenges most of which have been there for the past 15 years. One of the primary challenges faced by our entrepreneurs is inadequate infrastructure and limited connectivity. Our rugged terrain and remote locations have hampered the development of robust transportation networks and reliable utilities. 

A prominent issue with this sector has been the limited financial institutions and a risk-averse lending environment that have resulted in a dearth of capital for startups and small businesses. 

A solution to such problems could be in how we position our startups. Our commitment to environmental conservation aligns well with the global trend towards sustainable entrepreneurship. The emphasis on Gross National Happiness offers us a unique perspective on business success that goes beyond mere profit. By promoting and supporting ventures that prioritise environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and community engagement, we can position ourselves as a hub for socially conscious enterprises. While this resonates well with our values it also attracts international interest and partnerships. 

Of course, the success and strength of measures such as the online mentorship platform will hinge on how sustainable our efforts are in terms of investment and attention to the importance of the sector. 

With the political parties seeking ideas to firm up their manifestos, a good starting point could be addressing these issues facing our startups that could solve most of the pressing issues in the private sector and our ailing economy.