Jab-Chor—a platform for young Bhutanese entrepreneurs to nurture and grow their business ideas through access to financing was launched yesterday in Thimphu.

This was also to commemorate 12 years of His Majesty’s benevolent reign.

Jab-Chor is an initiative to encourage successful venture based on trust and confidence supported by legally executed business partnership deed that is recognised by laws of the Bhutan.

A pitching session will be held on December 24 at Thimphu.

Royal Monetary Authority Governor, Dasho Penjore, said that the first series of Jab-Chor platform would present five carefully screened and groomed business ideas to the investors for possible equity ownership.

The business ideas include sanitary pad production and waste management, among others.

Deputy governor, Yangchen Tshogyel, said that in this pilot project, the five entrepreneurs went through training at the Thimphu TechPark Limited (TTPL).

The TTPL will select entrepreneurs or startups and prepare them for the pitching meet with potential investors in the future.

“The TTPL when providing the training will also put them in touch with the stock exchange who helps them with the technical support to prepare for the pitching. Jab-Chor is either for those who have already started the business and are in need of financial support for expansion or someone with a prototype and wants to go into business,” Yangchen Tshogyel said.

Jab-Chor will also complement the Priority Sector Lending (PSL) initiative.

Although primary production related projects are eligible for 100 percent loan blacked by insurance under PSL, other projects have a 70 percent loan to 30 percent equity ratio.

Yangchen Tshogyel said that despite great business ideas, young entrepreneurs particularly startups were faced with the challenge of early start up equity.

While Jab-Chor will support the entrepreneurs with providing equity, it is not mandatory for the entrepreneurs to avail of PSL to be eligible for the Jab-Chor platform.

Various institutions are involved in the initiative. TTPL will select youth groups with potential ideas requiring equity as seed or startup fund; Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) will provide a 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; Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan will help entrepreneurs develop the offer document and carry out the evaluation process to select the startups for the business pitching session.

One of the entrepreneurs, Pema Chozom, said that the pilot initiative would help young entrepreneurs in the future to pitch their ideas and receive financial support from angel investors.

“With the help of the bank I received 70 percent of fund, but I still needed to produce 30 percent of equity. As a young entrepreneur even to have Nu 10,000 is really difficult to scale up the business.”

Pema Chozom has been working towards production of sanitary pads to raise awareness, reduce import of the napkins, and to create employment.

“My business is known as Chechay meaning tender and softness in our language.”

Jab-Chor was inspired by His Majesty’s aspirations for the youth, Governor Dasho Penjore said.

Phurpa Lhamo