There has never been a better moment for business in Bhutan– new ventures have been gradually building up to a crescendo, with the realization on every quarters of the importance and opportunities of developing entrepreneurship in Bhutan.
We have moved on from the mindset that to achieve success, once needs to sit for the civil service exam. More and more graduates have taken the decision to instead build their own businesses, and with the advent of agencies that support new initiatives, such as Loden Foundation and other governmental support to ease access to financing, many have made this a reality.
A look at what was possible in Bhutan 10 years ago, and comparing it to today illustrates the growth of numerous small and sometimes not so small businesses. We have locally designed jewelry, tissue paper, chips, juices, and the number of interesting restaurants to choose from in Thimphu has burgeoned.
But still, this is the best time in Bhutan to begin something new– many businesses may have come up, but the opportunities for newer ventures are infinite. It will be an endless list if we were to explore what is still not being done in Bhutan.
And the rewards of such ventures are manifold. At a personal level, to start a successful venture, you don’t have to show anyone your academic reports. What is required is far more difficult, but also always possible to achieve– great passion. Your salary will be determined by your own hard work and nothing else, and you will be your own boss.
But perhaps what you are really after is the satisfaction that your work is meaningful, that what you do brings you honour for service to this country of ours. Businesses can bring that too. Many businesses will directly contribute to the nation– those that provide quality education, healthcare, or other services that benefit the people. But whatever your business is, by achieving success, you contribute to the economy and therefore the country.
Economic strength means consolidating our sovereignty, by being able to have the means to look after our own. It means providing opportunities of employment and thus an improved life for individuals and by extension their families. Individual prosperity means bringing down social problems, and enabling people of the entire country to enjoy the fine things of life- art, literature, beauty, friendships, family and community. It means moving from the status of ‘developing country’ to ‘developed’. From Third World to First.
The beginning of this journey has already come. With the dedication of thousands of young entrepreneurs working with this goal in mind, we will embark on the road that will begin a new chapter of our history.