Start-up Centre In Bhutan Held Session To Provide Advice On Doing Business For Entrepreneurs

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Guidance was provided during the first session on starting a business held at the newly established start-up centre at Changzamtog, Thimphu.

Promoting entrepreneurship in Bhutan. (Source: Pandle.co.uk)

 

By Karma Cheki | Kuensel

On 3 Aug, start-ups and entrepreneurs were given advice and tips on how to start a business, license procedures and to utilise the Priority Sector Lending (PSL).

Guidance was provided during the first session on starting a business held at the newly established start-up centre at Changzamtog, Thimphu.

The session was organised as part of the Department of Cottage and Small Industries’ (DCSI) mandate to inculcate a sense of entrepreneurship.

Advice on starting a business is provided for all entrepreneurs

Person in-charge and industry officers with the enterprise development division, Penjor, said that the sessions would enable interested start-ups and entrepreneurs to be aware of the processes involved in starting a business.

He said that the free session is not only for those who are occupying space at the start-up centre but also for those who are interested in starting a business.

“Some of the start-ups at the centre have 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 start-ups 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 start-ups and entrepreneurs.”

He said that sessions based on different aspects of doing business such as taxation, public health, bookkeeping and food safety could be held in future.

The aspiring start-ups and entrepreneurs inquired on the requirement of a license to acquire resources during the materialisation and viability testing stage of a business idea.

Voices from some of the participants

One of the participants, Karma, said that unlike what she has been 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.

Significance of collaborating and working with other relevant agencies in Bhutan

DCSI’s Chief Industries Officer, Thinley Palden said that given the concept of start-ups and start-up centre being new in Bhutan, there is a need to collaborate and work with other relevant agencies such as the Department of Revenue and Customs, the National Environment Commission, and the PSL council.

She said that 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.

The DCSI on July 31 had issued a notification requesting those interested to register for the session.

More than 15 interested start-ups and entrepreneurs including some of the entrepreneurs occupying the centre’s incubator space, attended the session.

Purpose of the start-up centre

The start-up centre which was 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.

Till date, eighteen start-ups 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 the service sector, 2,143 in contract and 2,116 in production and manufacturing.

 

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

 


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