Turn­ing ideas into re­al­ity

Business Bhutan - - Editorial -

Ideas don’t of­ten turn into re­al­ity. It’s un­doubt­edly dif­fi­cult, whether as an en­tre­pre­neur or cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive, to give ideas life. If it were so easy, ev­ery­one would do it. It would have been just that sim­ple.

But with the in­cep­tion of the Startup Week­end, the ar­du­ous task to turn one’s ideas into re­al­ity has been sim­pli­fied and be­com­ing an en­trepreneurhas be­come easy. Since the­first Startup Week­end be­gan on Jan­uary 10, 2016, we saw the first na­tional Startup Week­end in the coun­try on a big­ger and grander scale last month in Thim­phu.

It’s heart­en­ing that such an event would be now held an­nu­ally. The Prime Min­is­ter had also em­pha­sized that such an event must con­tinue and must be spread, and that the gov­ern­ment is go­ing to fi­nance such event. The Startup Week­end is ba­si­cally a 54-hour week­end event dur­ing which ideas for new star­tups are pitched, thus en­abling par­tic­i­pants to turn ideas into re­al­ity and be­come en­trepreneurs in just 54 hours. The event also ren­ders a plat­form where stu­dents from dif­fer­ent col­leges and en­trepreneurs par­tic­i­pate and pitch their busi­ness ideas.

The Startup Week­end is a timely in­ter­ven­tion that could help ad­dress the youth un­em­ploy­ment is­sue, which re­mains a ma­jor chal­lenge con­fronting Bhutan. While gov­ern­ment jobs con­tinue to re­main the most sought af­ter by job­seek­ers, it’s not the job of the gov­ern­ment to give jobs. This in­ter­ven­tion is timely, there­fore, that the gov­ern­ment is fa­cil­i­tat­ing en­trepreneur­ship and let­ting young peo­ple be­come en­trepreneurs. This would only go on to con­trib­ute to eco­nomic growth in the coun­try and more jobs too.

Ad­di­tion­ally, such event is also pro­vid­ing our young Bhutanese the skills to be more in­no­va­tive and lessons to lead en­trepreneurial suc­cesses. It’s also keep­ing them en­gaged in a pro­duc­tive way. Even they are abreast now that they have a plat­form, even if they are presently in col­leges, through which they can ma­te­ri­al­ize their ideas into ac­tion. They are also aware that they need not fret about get­ting a job af­ter col­lege and that a plat­form has been ren­dered where th­ese stu­dents can be the creators of jobs. An­other ad­van­tage is that it’s also get­ting peo­ple with at­trac­tive ideas get con­nected and rec­om­mended to rel­e­vant or­ga­ni­za­tions for sup­port, be­sides the at­trac­tive cash prizes too.

How­ever, many star­tups off late have been con­fronting chal­lenges. They say most of the gov­ern­ment poli­cies are aimed at big­ger busi­nesses and that non-avail­abil­ity of raw ma­te­ri­als has been a con­straint. Other prob­lems range from find­ing in­vestors from abroad, ac­cess to loans, lack of work­shops, train­ings and in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure, to re­stric­tive poli­cies and bu­reau­cratic rig­ma­role. And while we have fa­cil­i­tated their en­try into the mar­ket, it goes with­out say­ing that we now need to fa­cil­i­tate their jour­ney too.

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