The Bank of Bhutan (BoB) organized a free training from June 11 to 14 for 67 youth based on the theme “empower youth to impact the future of agriculture in Bhutan.”
The participants will be provided a month’s time to develop a business proposal.
The training aimed to promote creative entrepreneurial ideas on agriculture among youth. The bank will identify three business proposals from the participants and provide maximum loan of Nu 500,000 each without security or mortgage.
The training targeted budding young entrepreneurs hoping to start a business and generate self employment. Through the workshop, participants were also familiarized on the products and services of the bank and the procedures of applying for a loan.
Banu Bhagta, a 23-year-old class XII drop-out from Sampheling gewog under Chukhha, one of the runners up in the Youth Innovation Competition earlier organized by Agriculture Research and Development Center, Yusipang said, today youth have lots of innovative and creative ideas but they face financial constraints and lack of determination to make the ideas functional.
Similarly, the oldest participant, 42-year-old Ngawang Gyeltshen said young entrepreneurs are scared to approach banks to avail loan and think banks ask for huge value of mortgage or land in Thimphu.
“Youth today prefer white collar jobs over blue collar jobs even if they get less salary rather than being their own boss by starting a new venture,” added Ngawang Gyeltshen.
Ngawang Gyeltshen, the owner of a private travel agency attended the training to gain experience and avail loans for his new venture of mushroom farming in Punakha.
Yeshi Lhamo, a 21-year-old graduate from Chitkara University from Punjab said this kind of initiatives are good as there is a lot of pressure on youth once they graduate from college and they are always on the lookout for employment opportunities.
Another participant, Rinchen Tshering from Gelephu said lack of new business ideas and competition make it difficult for businesses to sustain and most of the participants were attending the training to get ideas and learn how to frame a business proposal.
The program was initiated as part of the BoB’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. It kicked off from Thimphu and will be conducted in four regions of the country to provide equal opportunity for anyone interested in participating.
BoB’s Program Officer, Kencho Pemo said the bank will help participants develop business plans, provide interaction opportunities, idea sharing and 100% financing of any viable proposals.
She also said people have ideas but lack the know-how to make good proposals and plans. “This workshop targets young entrepreneurs with creative and new innovative ideas.”
On the first day of the training, participants were trained on BoB loan products. The presentation on loan products gave the participants an indication to select the appropriate product. Apart from that, the participants were also be briefed on the simple processes of general banking where they were taught on withdrawals, deposits and cheque differences.
On the second and third days, participants were trained on the basic concepts for preparing business proposals and business plans. Each group had prepared their presentation of their business models and how to apply for finance. Participants were also taken for a field visit.
On the last day, the participants had to make their final presentations and were awarded certificates.
Tshering from Thimphu