Start-ups in Bhutan Will Benefit with More Funding

Email

“However, in Bhutan most start-ups can’t do much marketing because of financial constraints.”

6 Start-up Weekends have been held in Bhutan so far. (Source: Facebook/StartupBhutan)

 

By Karma Cheki | Kuensel

Out of the 24 business ideas recognised at the six-startup weekends (SW) held so far, most have yet materialised due to a lack of funding. Only three business ideas have actually been realised to date.

A total of 24 business ideas were chosen from 155 ideas pitched during the six events held so far. The SWs were conducted over a period of two years from January 2016 to March this year.

Lack of seed money hinders start-ups

Although the winners of the SW have the passion and determination to transform their ideas into reality, most claimed that the lack of seed money is the main hindrance.

Only three ideas have been able to get started so far while the rest of are unable to as the brainchild behind the start-up ideas are actually college students who are still studying.

The founder of Miniature Bhutan, Sonam Tashi, who won the best idea award during the third edition of the SW, said that he was able to start his business as he received customers soon after the SW.

His business, which deals with the production of high-end hand crafted souvenirs started with Nu 5,000 and today, he is earning about Nu 80,000 a month.

Sonam Tashi said that although the SWs provide a platform and an opportunity to showcase ideas, being an entrepreneur is hard in Bhutan as the entrepreneurship culture is still at the embryonic stage.

Start-ups need to do thorough research of potential markets

He said that if the start-ups have researched well about the potential market, they could be successful.

“However, in Bhutan most start-ups can’t do much marketing because of financial constraints.”

He added that cash prizes would be more supportive for start-ups than items, facilities and programmes provided for the winners of the start-ups.

“We can then at least have the money to kick-start our ideas”.

Another winner of a start-up weekend, Rashme Gurung said that she is still in the process of researching her product and studying the market for her idea Redolence, The Scent Studio.

“Our main focus is on perfecting our product. We have also submitted proposals seeking funds to start production.”

Rashme Gurung, after hearing about the SW had gone to participate in one of the SWs without having any intention to pitch her idea.

However, she said that the passion and encouragement of the people in the SW helped her sound off her idea.

“If we don’t get that kind of platform, our ideas would remain as ideas. It cannot become real,” she said. 

“If there is someone to recognise and support what we are doing, it gives us confidence and motivates us.”

Support from the community is also vital

She added that apart from financial support, the support from the community is also important. 

“We are trying to bring new things into our country. It would help if people could support local products.”

Until the fifth edition of the SW, the winners and special mentions were provided with prizes in kinds such as an opportunity to use the incubation centres and the opportunities to attend relevant seminars and conferences. Winners were awarded cash only beginning this year.

The Department of Information Technology and Telecom officials said that the government realises that ideas in Bhutan are not able to be materialised mainly due to the lack of fund, decided to provide cash prizes to the winners of the sixth SW. 

“The fund would however, be disbursed in instalments after the winners have worked on their ideas.”

The government plans to continue providing cash prizes for the winners of the national start-up weekends every year.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Startup Weekend Begins in Phuentsholing

The Startup Weekend is organised in collaboration with Thimphu Techpark, Techstars, Department of IT and Telecom (DITT)...

Oct 29, 2017 12:00

Starting a Business at the Global Entrepreneurship Week

An industry can be classified as a manufacturing, construction or service industry. The Regional Trade and Industry...

Nov 19, 2017 10:43

Techstars Startup Weekend Bhutan (Eco-Tourism): 54 Hours where...

The eventful weekend saw 130 keen people in attendance, of which 56 pitched ideas. This was the fifth time that such an...

Nov 29, 2017 08:46

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the...

Mar 17, 2018 12:05

Top Five Business Ideas Bag Grants at National Start-up Weekend

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said during the prize awarding ceremony that although the government has been promoting...

Mar 20, 2018 22:53

Mekong Business Challenge 2018

The 12th Mekong Business Challenge will bring together 11 university teams to compete in the region’s business model...

Mar 29, 2018 22:25

Latest

News

Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was sufficient to support...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other rights of women and girls

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable positions, burdening them...

May 12, 2020 16:46

Features

Story of Final Year College Student Who Joined college after reopening of eduction institution amid outbreak of COVID 19

Sonam Dorji a final year student shares this thought on his first day of college amid pandemic.

Jul 04, 2020 14:03

Significant pilgrimage sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan

Discover sacred pilgrim sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan and the reasons why every buddhist must travel to these most venerated places of...

Jul 01, 2020 11:28

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Once the booming Handicraft Shops in Paro Dying- Paro Today

Paro town looks so different in its history as tourist destination in Bhutan.

Jun 24, 2020 16:58

Celebrating Bhutan’s Entrepreneurs: Namkhar Gyaltshen Of Transcend Artisan

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 06, 2020 11:48

Travel

Trailing Dodeydra Monastery through the scenic route from Northern Part of Thimphu

Did You Know The holy spring water near the monastery is supposed to aid those whose hearing is impaired.

Jul 13, 2020 22:57

Reasons why one should visit Druk Wangditse Lhakhang

The temple is reconstructed to its glory and is dedicated to his majesty the king of Bhutan.

Jul 08, 2020 14:43

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!