En­trepreneurs at startup cen­ter want more pub­lic­ity

Business Bhutan - - Money - Tsh­er­ing from Thim­phu

De­spite the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the startup cen­tre at Changzam­tog on June 25 this year, al­most all the en­trepreneurs out­lined lack of aware­ness among peo­ple and peo­ple vis­it­ing the cen­tre as chal­lenges con­fronting the dif­fer­ent star­tups.

The De­part­ment of Cot­tage and Small In­dus­try of the eco­nomic af­fairs min­istry con­verted its ex­ist­ing ser­vice cen­tre to busi­ness in­cu­ba­tion or startup cen­tre. The move is a part of the min­istry’s ef­fort to sup­port aspir­ing en­trepreneurs by pro­vid­ing ac­cess to af­ford­able in­fra­struc­ture and other busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ser­vices.

How­ever, In­dus­try Of­fi­cer with the eco­nomic af­fairs min­istry Dechen Dorji said there is cur­rently man-power short­age and fa­mil­iar­iza­tion of the en­trepreneurs in the mar­ket.

He added that the min­istry is in talk with the Tourism Coun­cil of Bhutan (TCB) for the pro­mo­tion of the en­trepreneurs and soon to de­velop a cat­a­log for the startup cen­tre.

Mean­while, aspir­ing en­trepreneurs can use the fa­cil­ity at the startup cen­tre for two years to set up and run their busi­nesses. But af­ter the in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod, new star­tups will take over the spa­ces.

The startup cen­tre was con­structed at a cost of about Nu 67.5 mn; the cen­tre has space for 28 star­tups, two train­ing halls, space for man­age­ment of­fice and cafe­te­ria.

An em­ployee of Green Pig­ment Arts, Norbu Tsh­er­ing, 25, said, “I haven’t seen peo­ple come here to see our work or buy or or­der our prod­ucts as peo­ple don’t know what is in­side the startup cen­tre and what it has to of­fer.”

He added there are mul­ti­ple is­sues like the de­part­ment not al­low­ing putting up of sign­boards and mar­ket­ing via so­cial me­dia.

An­other en­tre­pre­neur, Mon­jit Nepal, 26, said the startup cen­tre had pro­vided good op­por­tu­ni­ties for the youth and new en­trepreneurs, but lack fa­mil­iar­iza­tion and peo­ple com­ing here at the cen­tre to visit is rare.

Mon­jit works in­de­pen­dently and has been learn­ing craft­ing since his child­hood. His creative art work in­cludes like drift wood art and bam­boo art.

Mean­while, busi­ness ideas are nur­tured at the cen­tre and de­vel­oped through sup­port pro­grammes such as men­tor­ing, train­ing, mar­ket­ing, prod­uct de­sign­ing and de­vel­op­ment, link­ages to fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and other busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ser­vices. The cen­tre also has a fabri­ca­tion lab­o­ra­tory, which will help ease the de­vel­op­ment of ideas into prod­ucts through pro­to­typ­ing.

One of the en­trepreneurs, Tuls, said the op­por­tu­nity was es­sen­tial as the in­vest­ment is huge in the be­gin­ning when a per­son is just start­ing a busi­ness. “This came in as a huge ad­van­tage for me.”

“But fa­mil­iar­iza­tion is lack­ing. Peo­ple don’t come nei­ther have any in­for­ma­tion about the startup cen­tre and what it is all about,” she added.

An­other In­dus­try Of­fi­cer, Pen­jor said they want to en­cour­age peo­ple es­pe­cially un­em­ployed youth ma­te­ri­al­ize their new busi­ness ideas and also pro­vide ev­ery pos­si­ble sup­port they need.

He added we are very young or­ga­ni­za­tion and is not fully equipped, but yet we try ev­ery pos­si­ble ways that the en­trepreneurs are ben­e­fit­ted and we will also keep in touch even af­ter two years of con­tract.

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