Chhimi Dema

Thirty young and aspiring entrepreneurs will train themselves with Innovate Bhutan (iBhutan) for seven weeks in social entrepreneurship under the Learn 2 Launch (L2L) programme.

The programme was launched this week by the Youth Development Fund (YDF) in collaboration with UNICEF to promote social entrepreneurship—combining commercial and social issues to improve the lives of those connected to the cause.

iBhutan is a centre for social and business innovations founded by YDF in partnership with the Institute for Learning Solutions in October last year.

YDF’s chief of social enterprise, Kinley Tenzin, said that the L2L programme aims to impart business, social and technological skills to young and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The programme will have experts in social entrepreneurship, design thinking, finance, marketing and communication, strategy and value creation, and outcome measures.

He said the foundation of social enterprises was an issue in the community. “We’ll teach them how to identify the problems and then develop their skills to build a business around the problem,” he said.

The programme provides avenues for young entrepreneurs to test their ideas and launch them later.

Kinley Tenzin said that the programme promoted the social entrepreneurship concept to create social business leaders.

Two business ideas will be selected and awarded Nu 200,000 each at the end of the programme.

Kesang Om, founder of the implementing partner – Institute for Learning Solutions – said that the programme aimed to offer participants insights into what sustainability implies and what a profitable business entails.

She said that iBhutan created a holistic mentor-mentee programme to guide young entrepreneurs.

Aspiring entrepreneurs aged between 18 to 30 years can participate in the programme, which will start at the end of this month.

Osel Tenzin Tshering, 19, a university graduate, said that the programme gave a platform for young entrepreneurs to turn their abstract ideas into realities.

“It’s good to see such programmes,” he said.