Neten Dorji | Trashigang
Sonam Choden, 35, is the lone baker Radhi, Trashigang.
After completing Class X, she had a choice—whether to continue studying or to start a business. She chose the latter.
Sonam went to Bumthang and began working in a resort. Having gained enough experience, she returned to her village to start a bakery.
She doesn’t regret her decision.
“I was interested early on. I used to watch cooking and baking videos on YouTube,” she said, “But I started late, at 25. I kept trying and learning from the mistakes.”
Gradually, it became her new hobby for Sonam who said she started baking for small gatherings and events, and for her family events.
Now she is a full-time baker, and a pro at that.
The journey wasn’t easy, though. Being a woman entrepreneur fair share of challenges. Firstly, financial.
Sonam ventured into full-time baking business five months ago. She now supplies her products to Rangjung, Trashigang, and beyond.
In a month, Sonam makes about Nu 30,000 profit from the business.
Sonam took up various jobs before trying her hands at a bakery.“I learned baking skills at training, which changed my life entirely.”
Today, Sonam is a proud woman who provides for the family. Her two little daughters get to learn much more than academic lessons in school. At home, they follow their mother’s passion seriously.
“Coming from a disadvantaged family, I had to give up my education due to financial constraints. I am now a housewife with two children,” said Sonam. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be blessed with such an opportunity. I am today a financially independent woman and a proud entrepreneur.”
Sonam worked for about two years at Wangdicholing resort in Bumthang. Then she returned home and decided to try her luck at baking, utilizing the skills she learned there.
“Many people are leaving abroad to learn and earn. But I wanted to do something in my village itself,” said Sonam. “If you use your own skills, there are opportunities myriad at home.”
Baking is artistry of a refined kind which involves vision and imagination. Most of all, it is fun; one can play with ideas in million ways. A cake, for example, is a cake; it can be a very different cake at the same time.
“People do not utilise the skills seriously after they get training on baking. I would like to suggest them to utilise their skills and start a business,” said Sonam.