Financial Institutions Training Institute (FITI) conducted a winter training program for students at Thimphu from January 6 to 17 to equip them with entrepreneurship skills.
The training included 24 students aged between 13 to 16 years from different schools. The participants were selected based on writing skills or business ideas through a social website.
They had to submit a short essay themed, “You are Never Too Young to Start a Business” and the applicants were selected based on the write up.
The program apart from fostering entrepreneurial skills helped the students discover their strengths and briefed them on the challenges faced by an entrepreneur. It also encouraged children to use and enhance their innovation, creativity and leadership skills.
Yeshey Dorji, a student of Khangkhu Middle Secondary School said that he was able to understand the concept of business significantly and now he is confident about building a business firm. “After graduation, getting employed in government service is difficult for most of the students that is why I feel that the training on starting one’s own business was relevant,” he said.
A student at Sakteng Lower Secondary School, Pema Thinley, said that his parents encouraged him and instilled some business ideas in him. Earlier, he was not interested, but now he is. “Initially I came here to meet and make new friends besides learning about business but after interacting with some entrepreneurs, I learned that such ideas can be very helpful for a developing country like Bhutan as it can generate job opportunities for youths,” said Pema.
Pema Thinley also shared his idea on making different kinds of goods from yak dairy products. He says teenagers consume different types of junk food that can impact their health. He believes that with his idea people could lead a healthier lifestyle as his products will be organic. “To be an entrepreneur is not an easy task as they need to go through certain challenges and face many difficulties but I learned that trying leads to success. So if my business fails, I won’t give up, I will try my best until I succeed”, he said.
Yeshey Dorji, a participant, has a business idea whereby he wants to collect old shoes, clean them and supply at a cheaper rate. He has titled his innovation “Shoe Doctor.”
The coordinator, Rohit Gazmer, said that all the participants were from Thimphu last year but students from various schools across the country attended the training this time.
After the session was complete, students were expected to define clearly, the significance of being an entrepreneur, explain the process for starting a business, understand various financial and business concepts, prepare a business model canvas.
The sessions included classroom presentations, field trips to business sites and financial institutions, opening bank accounts and training on making juices. To assess the level of knowledge before and after the training program, the trainees were made to undergo an aptitude test which rated them on a scale of 0-10 points.
All the expenses including accommodation were met by FITI.
Tenzin Lhamo from Thimphu