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The Royal Government of Bhutan’s revised Cottage and Small Industry (CSI) Policy 2019 intends to create an enabling and conducive policy environment for the promotion of CSI development in Bhutan. In line with the government CSI policy, ICIMOD’s Resilient Mountain Solutions (RMS) Initiative focuses on building the capacity of entrepreneurs and providing technical support to strengthen enterprise and entrepreneurship development in Bhutan. To achieve these goals, it is important for the government to develop a robust mentorship programme and inculcate a mentorship culture.
Adaptation and Resilience Building
Antarprerana Office, Kathmandu
05 November 2019 to
08 November 2019
Anu Joshi Shrestha
Mentors play an exceedingly important role in the development of budding and early-stage entrepreneurs. Mentors guide entrepreneurs from the conception stage of a business and through the product-development and business-growth stages. It is imperative that facilitators of this relationship know entrepreneur needs and the kind of mentoring support that will work for them. An entrepreneur may need different types of mentoring support and skills depending on their business goals, personality traits, decision-making style, and the stage the entrepreneur is at.
To understand the gaps and areas that need improvement in Bhutan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, ICIMOD has conducted various scoping missions and workshops. From these undertakings, we concluded the following: i) the skills and capacities of startups and of the Startup Center officials need to be strengthened; and ii) customized mentorship plans and programmes need to be institutionalized to inculcate a mentorship culture, which is integral to developing a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem. ICIMOD also recently conducted workshops/knowledge-sharing events in Nepal and India. These events, which brought together officials from Bhutan’s Department of Cottage and Small Industry and various startups and institutions in Nepal and India, helped the officials understand the best practices of established startups and businesses in the region. From these learnings, the officials will be designing programmes and policy for Bhutan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Following up on these earlier developments, ICIMOD, with the support of Antarprerana, is conducting an exposure visit to Nepal for Bhutanese representatives. This visit will also include a mentorship curriculum development workshop. The aim is to build the capacity of Bhutanese entrepreneurs and mentors by allowing them to learn from various Nepali startups and entrepreneurs. A mentorship curriculum for mentors in Bhutan will also be developed.
a) Develop mentorship guideline/curriculum that the Startup Center can implement
b) Understand best practices and learn from various Nepali startups’ experiences, especially pertaining to incubation and mentorship of young entrepreneurs
c) Understand how support services and programmes can be designed in alignment with the policies of the Startup Center and the Government of Bhutan