In what can be seen as a promising entrepreneurial investment program, the Chairman of Korea Bhutan Friendship Association, Mr. William R. Lee invited proposals from young entrepreneurs in Bhutan with innovative and ambitious business plans to celebrate and mark the 30th anniversary of cordial diplomatic ties between Bhutan and Korea.
“This significant year of 2017 rightly calls for a celebration of the cordial relation which has flourished since 1987, marked by our common desire to promote the values of happiness, peace and harmony in both Bhutan and Korea,” said Mr. William.
The program is investment based, which would mean that the young entrepreneurs who will be selected will not have to pay back to the Korean investors but instead have to work hard to yield their innovative ideas into concrete action plans, whereby the best five selected candidates will have to establish a Joint Venture in Korea.
Total of USD 100,000 has been set as an investment amount for the program where each young entrepreneur will be given USD 20,000 to initiate and further their ideas. The purpose of the fund as stated by the officials from Korea Bhutan Friendship Association is to encourage young promising start-ups in Bhutan, in celebration of the 30th diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
The investment funds will be given directly to the best five candidates selected personally by the Chairman of Korea Bhutan Friendship Association (KBFA) under the administration of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and KBFA.
The entrepreneurial program is expected to offer fully equipped office space in Korea for one year which can be renewed further, Business Visa will be given as long as their start up sustains, the young minds will be mentored by professionals in the relevant fields, they will also be given additional investment opportunities, will be provided Business Co-operation opportunities with local Korean companies and they will also explore further markets in Japan and China.
As per the terms of the program, the best five applicants with innovative entrepreneurial designs will be invited to form a Joint Venture in Korea where they will own 49% of the share and the rest 51% will be owned by the Korean investors and advisors. Under the Joint Venture, the selected candidates will have to settle in Korea but with the option of mobility, and their business performance will also be reviewed for further investment.
Although the area of investment has been recommended mostly in the ICT sector, automobile, engineering, environmental friendly business, food and agricultural technologies, logistics and financial services, other innovative ideas in different fields has also been welcomed. Chairman William said that they do not accept any applicants who wish to start a business simply to make a living, like restaurants or a grocery shops. “We are looking for entrepreneurs with innovative thinking. The entrepreneur who is a business leader looks for ideas and puts them into effect in fostering economic growth and development. Entrepreneurship is one of the most important inputs in the economic development of a country,” he said.
Mr. William added that an increased number of start-ups in Bhutan will result in more innovations and make the Bhutanese industry compete in the international market. “Having said that, the technology sectors tend to have many start-ups with outstanding ideas; however we do not limit any industry or area as long as the idea is something innovative.”
The dateline for putting up the proposals has already been closed and a total of 38 applicants submitted their proposals. The results for the best five candidates will be announced in September through MoLHR.