BoB gives collateral free loan to wellness entrepreneur
In a first of its kind, the Bank of Bhutan (BoB) approved a loan of Nu 500,000 without any collateral to a Bhutanese entrepreneur last week.
Yeshey Lhamo, 34, from Punakha, put up a project proposal for Kukham Wellness that provides door-to-door services like steam and sauna, and hair and body massage.
She was among the 50 youth who attended the BoB’s ‘Empowering Entrepreneurs – E2’ program in June this year as part of the bank’s Golden Jubilee celebration activities.
The bank organized the four-day entrepreneur development training program free of charge to interested youth to encourage and motivate young entrepreneurs to engage in business.
Yeshey Lhamo started the business in April this year.
KuKham Wellness will also provide outdoor body treatments for clients and trekkers at base camps where there are road connections. “How nice it would be to get a massage by the riverside? It will induce peace and soothing of body and mind after a tiring day,” she said.
Yeshey Lhamo came up with the business idea as many Bhutanese have preconceived notions about body massage and she wants to promote the service as something positive that could do wonders for a person’s holistic wellbeing.
During the training, BoB had committed to provide collateral-free loan up to Nu 500,000 to viable proposals submitted by the participants. After completing the training, the participants were given a month to submit their proposals.
KuKham Wellness is being financed under this scheme as it is a unique project and assessed to do well.
Yeshey Lhamo will use the loan to procure the equipment required for her business.
The BoB CEO, Pema Nadik, said that through the E2 program, the BoB would like to encourage the youth to consider venturing into business as an alternative mode of employment.
The training also allowed young people to share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges they face and provided a platform for them to explore business opportunities towards selfreliance.
As of now, KuKham Wellness provides services in Punakha and is planning to expand to other dzongkhags as well. Currently, KuKham Wellness has four employees.