Startups and entrepreneurs were made aware on how to start a business, licensing procedures and Priority Sector Lending (PSL) during the first session on how to start a business held at the newly established startup centre at Changzamtog, Thimphu, yesterday.
The session was organised as part of department of cottage and small industries’ (DCSI) mandate to inculcate a sense of entrepreneurship.
Person in-charge and industries officer with enterprise development division, Penjor, said that the sessions would make interested startups and entrepreneurs aware on the processes involved in starting a business.
He said that the free session is not only to those who are occupying space at the startup centre but also for those who are interested in starting a business. “Some of the startups at the centre are yet to obtain their business licenses. So it would be helpful to them as well.”
Director general of DCSI, Tandin Tshering, said that through interaction with the startups and entrepreneurs, the department would also be able to improve the licensing procedures. “We will try to have as many of such sessions based on the interest of the startups and entrepreneurs.”
He said that sessions based on different aspects such as taxation, public health, bookkeeping and food safety could be held in future.
The aspiring startups and entrepreneurs inquired on the requirement of a license to acquire resources during the materialisation and viability testing stage of a business idea.
One of the participants, Karma, said that unlike informed by the DCSI officials, she had to produce a license just to obtain land on lease for her mushroom cultivation business. “I had to keep renewing the license for almost two years to obtain the land, before even starting the business.”
Other entrepreneurs facing similar issues, asked the DCSI to look into the situation, and to improve and streamline the system of starting a business among the different departments, agencies and ministries.
DCSI’s chief industries officer, Thinley Palden said that the concept of startups and startup centre being new, there is a need to collaborate and work with other relevant agencies such as Department of Revenue and Customs, National Environment Commission, and PSL council.
She said the department would take up the concerns with the relevant agencies to smoothen and streamline the systems related to starting a business in the country.
DCSI on July 31 had issued a notification requesting those interested to register for the session.
More than 15 interested startups and entrepreneurs including some of the entrepreneurs occupying the centre’s incubator space, attended the session yesterday.
The startup centre inaugurated on June 25, helps nurture business ideas and to develop them through support programmes such as mentoring, training, marketing, product designing and development, linkages to financial institutions, and other business development services.
Eighteen startups and Fabrication Laboratory, Bhutan (Fab Lab) are currently occupying 20 of the 28 incubation space in the centre.
As of June 15 this year, there are 20,195 cottage and small industries in the country – 15,936 in service sector, 2,143 in contract and 2,116 in production and manufacturing.
Interested startups and entrepreneurs can contact and register for the session with the startup centre at 02330747 or 330748 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.