Department of Employment

Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment Division

Basic Entrepreneurship Course (BEC)

  1. Who is eligible to apply for the BEC?
  2. What do you mean by a vocational skill?
  3. Can you please give me examples of vocational skills?
  4. I have completed a training course in office management and computer operation; am I eligible to apply for the BEC?
  5. Can I start a grocery or a trading business under the CGS funding?
  6. Does it mean that someone who does not have a vocational skill cannot attend the BEC?
  7. How can I acquire a vocational skill?
  8. Why is vocational skill required in order to avail a loan under the CGS?
  9. What do I learn during the BEC?
  10. What is the medium of instructions used during BEC?
  11. How are candidates for the BEC selected?
  12. What are the Selection Interviews?
  13. When and how frequently are BECs conducted?
  14. What is the duration of a training course?
  15. Where are BECs conducted?
  16. What is the entry fee for the training?
  17. Do trainees get any stipend/facility during the BEC?
  18. What happens after the training?
  19. What kinds of services and assistance will I receive after I start my business?
  20. Who do I contact for any information regarding the BEC?

Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Course (CEC)

  1. Who is eligible to apply for the CEC?
  2. Can I start a grocery or a trading business under the CGS funding?
  3. What do I learn during the CEC?
  4. What is the medium of instructions used during CEC?
  5. Who conducts the CEC?
  6. How are candidates for the CEC selected?
  7. What are the Selection Interviews?
  8. When and how frequently are CECs conducted?
  9. What is the duration of a training course?
  10. Where are CECs conducted?
  11. What is the entry fee for the training? Do trainees get any stipend/facility during the BEC?
  12. What happens after the training?
  13. What kinds of services and assistance will I receive after I start my business?
  14. Who do I contact for any information regarding the CEC?

Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS)

  1. What is the CGS and who is eligible for this?
  2. Is participation in the BEC and CEC a must in order to avail assistance under the CGS? Why?
  3. I hear that once I complete the BEC and CEC I will be getting an amount of Nu 500,000 and Nu.1000,000/- Is it true?
  4. What if I propose a very good business based on my skill but then my requirement is more than Nu. 500,000 for BEC.
  5. I hear that I do not have to pay any interest on the amount that I borrow from the bank.
  6. Once I start a business based on my skill and if that business fails, can I change my business after that?
  7. Do I have to arrange for mortgage or collateral in order to avail a loan?


 

Bhutanese youth  

  1. Between the age of 18 to 30 years
  2. Should have vocational/technical skill
  3. Should have a viable business idea
  4. Should not already have business
  5. Should not have loan with any banks

A vocational skill is any skill based on which an individual can start a small business either by offering services or producing something that have a demand in the market.


Sure! Examples of vocational skills are haircutting, electrical house wiring, plumbing, auto-repairs, tailoring, electronics repairs, bakery, automobile workshop, furniture manufacturing and others. Alternatively, the vocational skill could be in traditional or indigenous such as weaving, woodcarving, and traditional painting.


Think about it! What kind of business can you start with your training on office management and computer operation? With such kind of training and skill, you are better off by seeking employment either with the RGoB, the private sector or international agencies.


No! The CGS doesn’t allow the setting up of grocery shops or retail business under its funding. Assistance under the CGS is available only to set up a manufacturing or service business based on the vocational skill of the candidate


Someone who doesn’t have a vocational skill CAN attend the BEC. However, during the selection interviews preferences are always given to youth who have vocational skills. Further, even if a youth who doesn’t have a vocational skill is selected for the BEC s/he must acquire a vocational skill before s/he can avail financial assistance under the CGS. 


You can acquire a vocational skill through one of the following means:

  • Participate in a training course offered by the Ministry of Labour & Human Resource (MoLHR) through their Technical Training Institutes and their Zorig Chusum Institutes.
  • Participate in a training course offered by the MoLHR through their Apprenticeship Training Programme, Post Graduate Internship programme.
  • Participate in a training course offered by private institutes/agencies within and outside the country
  • Participate in a training course on farm-based business offered by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Please bear in mind that the ESED does not provide training in any vocational skill.


The BEC are focused programmes designed to assist the Bhutanese youth start small businesses based on their vocational skill. Therefore, it is necessary for youth desiring to avail assistance under the CGS to possess a vocational skill.


The BEC covers the key functional areas of business management such as

  1. Marketing management,
  2. Production,
  3. Operations management, and
  4. Financial management.

Besides the functional areas, the BEC also covers the area of ‘Soft Skills’ required in an entrepreneur to be successful. Known as the Personal Entrepreneurial Characteristics (PECS), the soft skills are said to be fundamental for the success of a business. The trainees are also taught how to prepare a business plan on their individual business ideas.


The instructions and discussions during the training are mainly conducted in English. While efforts are made to translate the lectures into Dzongkha, wherever possible and whenever necessary, it is very difficult for the resource persons to translate most of the deliberations and materials into Dzongkha because of the technical nature of the materials and discussions.  As a result, someone who does not understand English well will find it a little difficult to understand the proceedings of the training course.  


The course is conducted by the private national recognized training institutes who have been trained in entrepreneurship development and small business promotion through both in-country as well as outside exposures. Besides, resource speakers from the banks and other relevant organizations and departments are invited to speak on relevant topics and issues


Candidates are selected through a selection interview conducted by the Selection Committee (SC). The SC is comprised of a member each from the Department of Employment an d 6 Financial Institutions.  As soon as you hear and/or read about the BEC in the media, you should contact the ESED or RELO or visitwww.molhr.gov.bt and collect an application form and prepare to sit for the selection interview


As mentioned above, trainees are selected through interview by the SC. The primary criteria is that an applicant should have acquired a vocational skill in a trade which has a commercial potential and should be willing and interested to start a self-employment venture based on the skill.

The other thing that is verified during an interview is the age of the applicant to ensure that he/she is between 18 to 35 years old.


BEC is conducted quarterly in a year. The ESED provides enough publicity on the next BEC through the national media such as Kuensel, BBS Radio, and BBS TV.


A BEC runs for 30 working days – working days being from Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm. A trainee must attend the course on a full time basis and is not allowed any absence during the course.


While the EPC receives candidates for the BEC from all corners of the country, the number of candidates from a particular location is not big enough to justify the conduction of BECs all over the country. Because of this reason and for purpose of logistics, the BECs are conducted in Thimphu in private training institutes.


Candidates for the BEC do not have to pay any fee. The course is absolutely free. On the other hand, the ESED does provide stipend and other facility.


A successful candidate is awarded a certificate at the end of the training. Normally, after the course BEC graduates start following up on their business proposals with their respective banks and relevant organisations. Whether a graduate will/can start a business after the BEC depends, largely, on him/her – his/her determination and hard work. He/she has to finalise his business plan and present it to the banks proving its viability. He/she also has to confirm to other requirements and procedures of the banks before he/she can expect to receive financial assistance to start his business.


The ESED and the bank will provide various services and assistance in order to ensure that graduates of the BEC are able to establish and conduct their business successfully. These services, which can broadly be described as mentoring and monitoring services can be detailed as follow:

  • Assistance in obtaining a license needed in order to start a business
  • Assistance in obtaining recommendations/clearance from concerned agencies in order to establish the business
  • Ensure that the business proponents are concentrating on their business and not digressing their attention to other activities
  • Ensure that graduates are conducting their business properly and provide counselling and guidance wherever necessary and possible
  • Ensure that proper books of accounts and records are maintained and provide assistance whenever necessary.
  • Ensure that loan is repaid on time and as per schedule

You can get contact information from ESED officials of MoLHR, Thimphu through

Ph: 326733    Fax: 326731

Email: eship@molhr.gov.bt

www.molhr.gov.bt

Or focal person from RELO in Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samdrupjongkhar and Trashigang. 



Bhutanese youth

  1. Should be between the age of 18 to 35 years
  2. Should have qualification level Class XII and above
  3. Should have a viable business idea
  4. Should not have already business
  5. Should not have loan in any banks

No! The CGS doesn’t allow the setting up of grocery shops or retail business under its funding. Assistance under the CGS is available only to set up a manufacturing or service business based on the vocational skill of the candidate


The CEC cover the key functional areas of business management such as

  1. marketing management,
  2. production and
  3. operations management, and
  4. Financial management.

Besides the functional areas, the CEC also covers the area of ‘Soft Skills’ required in an entrepreneur to be successful. Known as the Personal Entrepreneurial Characteristics (PECS), the soft skills are said to be fundamental for the success of a business. The trainees are also taught how to prepare a business plan on their individual business ideas.


The instructions and discussions during the training are mainly conducted in English. While efforts are made to translate the lectures into Dzongkha, wherever possible and whenever necessary, it is very difficult for the resource persons to translate most of the deliberations and materials into Dzongkha because of the technical nature of the materials and discussions.  As a result, someone who does not understand English well will find it a little difficult to understand the proceedings of the training course.  


The course is conducted by the private nationally recognized training institutes who have been trained in entrepreneurship development and small business promotion through both in-country as well as outside exposures. Besides, resource speakers from the banks and other relevant organizations and departments are invited to speak on relevant topics and issues


Candidates are selected through a selection interview conducted by the Selection Committee (SC). The SC is comprised of a member each from the Department of Employment and 6 Financial Institutions.  As soon as you hear and/or read about the CEC in the media, you should contact the ESED or RELO or visitwww.molhr.gov.bt and collect an application form and prepare to sit for the selection interview


As mentioned above, trainees are selected through interview by the SC. The primary criteria are that an applicant should have a commercial potential and should be willing and interested to start a self-employment venture.

The other thing that is verified during an interview is the age of the applicant to ensure that he/she is between 18 to 35 years old.


CEC is conducted quarterly which means 4 times in a year. The ESED provides enough publicity on the next CEC through the national media such as Kuensel, BBS Radio, and BBS TV.


A CEC runs for 40 working days – working days being from Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm. A trainee must attend the course on a full time basis and is not allowed any absence during the course.


While the ESED receives candidates for the CEC from all corners of the country, the number of candidates from a particular location is not big enough to justify the conduction of CECs all over the country. Because of this reason and for purpose of logistics, the CECs are conducted in Thimphu in private training institutes.


Candidates for the CEC do not have to pay any fee. The course is absolutely free. On the other hand, the ESED does provide stipend and other facility.


A successful candidate is awarded a certificate at the end of the training. Normally, after the course CEC graduates start following up on their business proposals with their respective banks and relevant organisations. Whether a graduate will/can start a business after the CEC depends, largely, on him/her – his/her determination and hard work. He/she has to finalise his business plan and present it to the banks proving its viability. He/she also has to confirm to other requirements and procedures of the banks before he/she can expect to receive financial assistance to start his business.


The ESED and the bank will provide various services and assistance in order to ensure that graduates of the CEC are able to establish and conduct their business successfully. These services, which can broadly be described as mentoring and monitoring services can be detailed as follow:

  • Assistance in obtaining a license needed in order to start a business
  • Assistance in obtaining recommendations/clearance from concerned agencies in order to establish the business
  • Ensure that the business proponents are concentrating on their business and not digressing their attention to other activities
  • Ensure that graduates are conducting their business properly and provide counselling and guidance wherever necessary and possible
  • Ensure that proper books of accounts and records are maintained and provide assistance whenever necessary.
  • Ensure that loan is repaid on time and as per schedule

You can get contact information from ESED officials of MoLHR, Thimphu through

Ph: 326733    Fax: 326731

Email: eship@molhr.gov.bt

www.molhr.gov.bt

or focal person from RELO in Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samdrupjongkhar and Trashigang.  


 

The CGS is an agreement that has been drawn between the Royal Government of Bhutan on the one hand and 6 Financial Institutes on the others.

  1. Bank of Bhutan
  2. Bhutan National Bank
  3. Bhutan Developmental Bank
  4. Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan
  5. T Bank
  6. Druk PNB

It provides for collateral free loan of up to Nu. 500,000 per borrower to Bhutanese youth who have successfully completed the BEC graduate and Nu.1000,000 for CEC graduate who present a viable business. While details of the loan scheme are explained to the trainees during the BEC and CEC, it is sufficient to note here that a loan under this scheme is NOT guaranteed. Obtaining a loan is only a possibility and normally a BEC and CEC graduate is sanctioned with a loan only if he/she presents a viable project idea and meets other requirements of the CGS and the bank.


Yes, participation in the BEC and CEC is a prerequisite to avail any assistance under the CGS. The reason is this – Youth who have acquired vocational skills have completed only one part of the training for BEC and no skill acquired for CEC. The other part of the training i.e on how to start a business, how to market your products and services, how to identify and take care of customers and how to maintain basic books of records and accounts is provided during the BEC. In other words, youth who have acquired vocational skill may not know how to start a business, how to complete the required formalities in licensing and registering a business, how to run it effectively, etc. By participating in the BEC and CEC they are expected to learn important aspects of business start-up and management.  In other words, they are expected to be more prepared and confident of starting a business based on their plan.


Not completely true. Yes, there is a scheme established by the government in order to make financial assistance available to graduates of the BEC and CEC through the 6 Financial Institutions. However, participating in the BEC and CEC does not mean that you will definitely be given loan by the banks. In order to get a loan, you need to attend the BEC and CEC, write a viable business plan based on your skill, present the plan to the bank and convince them about your seriousness in starting a business based on your skill.


The other issue to clarify here is that Nu 500,000 is the maximum loan that a graduate of the BEC is eligible to get and Nu.1000,000/- for CEC. The actual amount that will be provided will depend on the need of the proposed business and will be subject to the maximum ceiling of Nu. 500,000 and Nu.1000,000/-. For example, to start a small beauty parlour or a tailoring shop you hardly need Nu. 150,000, which is way below the ceiling of Nu 500,000.


Whatever may be the case, during the initial phase of starting a business your bank will not give you more than Nu. 500,000. However, once you establish and start a business and if the bank and/or the officials of the ESED are convinced that your business deserves to be given more money, or that your business needs more money for survival then the bank will consider giving an additional amount up to Nu. 500,000.


Not true. You will have to pay interest at 10% for Term Loan and 12% for Working Capital which is below the market rate.


 As mentioned repeatedly in this document the business that you intend to start or eventually start has to be based on your vocational skill for BEC not for CEC. You cannot propose or start a business that has no relationship with your skill. In the same way, if the business that you start based on your skill fails you cannot change your business. If you cannot succeed in a business which is based on your skill and persona interest what is the guarantee that a new business which has no relationship with your skill will succeed!


No! Any loan provided under the CGS is free of mortgage and collateral i.e you need not have any asset such as land, building or vehicle in order to be eligible to receive a loan but if you required above the limit then bank will ask for security since it will not fall under the CGS.


 Abbreviation

ESED      Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment Division

BEC        Basin Entrepreneurship Course

CEC       Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Course

CGS       Credit Guarantee Scheme

RELO     Regional Employment and Labour Office

SC          Selection Committee

MoLHR   Ministry of Labour and Human Resources