En­cour­age en­trepreneurs

Business Bhutan - - Editorial -

The re­cent startup week­end at the Col­lege of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy might just be the begin­ning of a cul­ture that en­cour­ages much-needed en­trepreneur­ship while build­ing skills and a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for youth who are plan­ning to pur­sue a ca­reer charted out for in­no­va­tion and out-of-the-box ideas.

It is a well-known fact that Bhutan has a much-cov­eted pub­lic sec­tor with num­ber of va­can­cies fall­ing far be­low the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions that pour in every year from wannabe-civil ser­vants that com­prise mostly univer­sity grad­u­ates.

With in­creas­ing num­bers of grad­u­ates hunt­ing for jobs and the civil ser­vice over­bur­dened to the hilt, we can only hope to ab­sorb them all in al­ter­na­tive sec­tors like the pri­vate sec­tor. But what we need is more than em­ploy­ment.

We need cre­ators of em­ploy­ment and this can only be pos­si­ble if more peo­ple ven­ture to start up. This means youth who are seek­ing em­ploy­ment should try to be their own masters. The ven­ture can start small but grow into an elab­o­rate com­pany or or­ga­ni­za­tion that brings sim­i­lar-minded in­di­vid­u­als to­gether. And there can be noth­ing more dy­namic than a mas­ter mind of bright heads con­nected by a sim­i­lar thread of am­bi­tion, cre­ativ­ity and zeal to work and pro­duce.

We are at an age when col­lec­tivism has killed cre­ativ­ity. We need in­no­va­tion and ideas to re­de­fine the mean­ing of cre­ativ­ity. And this is not im­pos­si­ble. We saw this at the startup week­end where more than 60 col­lege stu­dents par­tic­i­pated. We saw that it was pos­si­ble at a mi­cro­scopic level. The chal­lenge is to repli­cate the feat at a big­ger, na­tional level.

While we know any­thing is pos­si­ble pro­vided there is a will, we also know that bot­tle­necks to star­tups and in­vest­ments in Bhutan range from lack of fund­ing and cap­i­tal to short­age of skilled la­bor, lack of ac­cess to mar­ket and cum­ber­some pa­per­works.

All th­ese should be looked into. We can­not start a cul­ture of en­trepreneur­ship with­out first putting spe­cific frame­works in place to fa­cil­i­tate the works. The au­thor­i­ties should make fund­ing win­dows avail­able, re­move com­pli­cated for­mal­i­ties and pro­vide ac­cess to cheap but ef­fi­cient la­bor. Of­ten, the star­tups in­volve For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment (FDI) so laws per­tain­ing to FDI should be re­laxed.

We have a pool of young tal­ents and it is al­ways good not to cat­e­go­rize them into ruts. Give them free­dom to think, to cre­ate, to fly. Their minds are their great­est as­set and should make life not only ful­fill­ing for them­selves by giv­ing them an av­enue to earn and cre­ate but also serve the so­ci­ety by pro­mot­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and ideas that will make the world a bet­ter place to live in.

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