An entrepreneur exhibits her products

Thinley Namgay 

Tshewang Thinley, 24, a former employee of National Land Commission couldn’t get the job after the commission did not extend his contract. So he came up with a business idea—land and engineering services.

He launched his business yesterday in Thimphu together with 18 others. The labour ministry’s employment and human resource department is supporting the business ideas and provided entrepreneurship course to the entrepreneurs.

Tshewang Thinley said that most of the land-related surveys was going digital and the land commission outsources some of the land-related services to private organisations.

“I am one of the trained cadastral surveyors, and I am confident in this business,” he said.

His business focuses on engineering, land transaction, cadastral, topographic, and route surveys.

The ministry awarded him the Nu 200,000 for being one of the best business ideas.

Samdrup Dema launched her business called “Just Baked”. Samdrup Dema said that she would make 12 different types of cakes and other food items. “The idea is to use only local ingredients.”

The labour ministry’s support is aimed at providing a platform to the participants to showcase products, explore the market and to find potential investors and buyers.

So far, the department in collaboration with Thimphu Techpark and RENEW have conducted training for 138 individuals, comprising mostly of overseas returnees, those who lost jobs due to the pandemic and young job seekers.

Programme officer of the department, Dawa Zangmo, said that the trainees were familiarised with entrepreneurship concepts and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Relevant officials from agencies were invited to create awareness.

“The Department in collaboration with relevant partners provides a range of post-training support services such as food handler’s training, equipment support, agency linkages for clearances, incubation space, mentoring and monitoring support, and referrals for additional training,” said Dawa Zangmo.

The ministry aims to train 400 youth under start-up and Cottage and Small Industries Flagship Programme in the 12th five-year plan.

Award Ceremony of Bhutan New Venture Challenge (BNVC) was also held yesterday.

BNVC is a business idea competition by the department to encourage entrepreneurship among students, overseas returnees, and others.

The department received 116 entries from these three categories; only 89 entries got selected in the first phase of the evaluation.

Assistant programme officer with the department, Sangay Wangchuk, said that the student category was to promote entrepreneurship at the grassroots level. “Overseas returnee category is for the individuals to put their experience while overseas to use it in the country. The general category focuses on agriculture, technology and service sector.

“The formation of ventures will help tackle rising unemployment issues and eventually help development and growth of the Bhutanese economy,” said Sangay Wangchuk.

Labour Minister Ugyen Dorji said that the entrepreneurs were a special groups of people who choose hope over despair. “Even during this pandemic, they chose hope and turn ideas into action. They chose not only to make oneself independent but also to create trade opportunities for others.”

Students of Chaskhar Central School in Mongar took first and second positions in student category with the business ideas- Kuenphen Tailoring and Rey Saloon. A venture by the student of the Yurung Central School in Pemagatshel called ‘Bammung’ came third.

Galley Feeds, Yum Yum Sausage and Green House Shop were the top three business ideas in the overseas category.

The best ideas in the agriculture category were Home Decor and Floristry, and Bhutan Trout Farming.

‘Drukyul Production’ and ‘MyChharo’ topped the technology category. Bhutan Instant Survey and Yoga Yangchen were the best ideas in the service sector category.

The top three entries from the student category were awarded a cash prize of Nu 100, 000 each. Nu 150,000, Nu 125, 000 and Nu 100, 000 were awarded to the three best ideas in the oversea category.

Nu 200, 000 and Nu 150,000 were awarded for the first and second position ideas from the agriculture, technology and the service sector category.