The national level entrepreneurship stakeholders meeting with special focus on collaboration and integration took place in the capital on Monday, December 16.
The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) has always laid the utmost emphasis on entrepreneurship development in the country. This comes in recognition of the fact that entrepreneurship is an important tool and a useful strategy, for job creation and economic vitalization.
Considering that a young generation of bold and innovative Bhutanese entrepreneurs and business leaders can and will take the country forward by creating ample jobs for themselves and others, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private sectors have been initiating and implementing entrepreneurship program in their own small ways.
The main objective of Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) is to generate employment opportunities and self-employment.
MoLHR Secretary Pema Wangda said, “The ministry considers a lot of importance on EDP as employment promotion. EDP program is meant for school leavers and university graduates. After training, they will start business and create jobs. The problem has been access to credit.”
“Credit was given by financial institutions that were very choosy and gave loans only to few people,” he added.
The Secretary said the ministry shall focus on small scale businesses which wouldn’t require substantial credit from local banks.
“ To promote EDP, we will encourage small business and national entrepreneurship award program. Always depending on the banks for credit is difficult because many trainees do not have access to credit,” he said.
He also said that the ministry, in the 11th FYP, is planning to train 600 unemployed youths, 300 for Basic Entrepreneurship Course (BEC) and 300 for Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Course (CEC).
Participants at the meeting said that youth pursue trainings, but many do it just for the sake of doing it and are not serious about it. They said some even take loans and spend it to buy cars, instead of investing the money into businesses.
An official from the education ministry said, “The ministry is developing curriculum for class XI and XII for business strategy and introducing the vocational education in schools, in order to change the mindset of students, provide knowledge and skill, and encourage self employment.”
Representatives from MoLHR, Loden foundation, Druk Holdings and Investments (DHI), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Gedu College of Business Studies, SABAH, and the Thimphu Tech Park, among others, attended the meeting.
Each stakeholder made presentations on entrepreneurship program of respective organizations.
The 2nd national level entrepreneurship stakeholders meeting was organized by MoLHR. The first meeting was held in 2009 at Paro.