Of the five business ideas pitched at the first Jab-Chor platform on December 24, housing.bt, by Jigme Tenzin received funding from an investor.

Jab-Chor is a platform for young Bhutanese entrepreneurs to nurture and grow their business ideas through access to financing supported by legally executed business partnership deed that is recognised by laws of Bhutan.

Housing.bt, a real state agency market in the country received the funding required for further development of the business through the platform.

Yarkay Group Private Limited supported housing.bt with Nu 2 million.

Managing director at Yarkay Group Private Limited, Phub Zam, said that setting an example for the investors to support young entrepreneurs was important.

“Hearing the governor speaking about supporting youth with such passion, I also thought that we should do something for our youth,” she said. “Housing.bt was a business where we don’t need to import much, where the market is within Bhutan and the service receivers are here.”

Housing.bt will use the capital for fixed assets and working capital.

Other business ideas pitched include Freelancer Bhutan—a freelance portal to provide services to the clients, Chechay Sanitary Pads—produce sanitary pads with comfortable features at a cheaper rate, Eco Waste Solution and Green Path —to efficiently manage increasing waste.

Various institutions are involved in the initiative. Thimphu TechPark Limited (TTPL) selects youth groups with potential ideas requiring equity as seed or startup fund; Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) provides a formal channel to coordinate the participation of investors through the registration process; the company registry division facilitates understandings of contract terms, business rules and mediate entrepreneurs with support from Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) legal team; Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan helps entrepreneurs develop the offer document and carry out the evaluation process to select the startups for the business pitching session.

Deputy governor, Yangchen Tshogyel, said BCCI would continue to seek investors for the four entrepreneurs who pitched their ideas at the platform.

She added that the agencies would now work towards institutionalisation of Jab-Chor for structured and a sustainable firm. “We started Jab-Chor as a pilot project. Now we have to talk with different partners to see who can carry it forward in a structured way. After institutionalisation, the agencies will look onto new entrepreneurs. A competitive selection process will be established.”

The agencies will also work with the stock exchange in coming up with a crowd-funding platform in future.

“We are looking at donations, rewards and as well as equity. The beauty with crowdfunding is it is about distribution of risks and many people can participate. Crowd-funding could be an option for the remaining four entrepreneurs,” Yangchen Tshogyel said.

Phurpa Lhamo