Bhutanese Youth and The Entrepreneurship Programmes

With the globe facing youth unemployment crisis, Bhutan is not an exception. The results of the Labor Force Survey (2009), has found that the unemployment rate has jumped to 4 percent and more than 80 percent of them are youth between the ages of 15 and 25. As youths are facing unemployment problem, youth entrepreneurship has come into the action. Entrepreneurs create jobs, increase innovations, raise competition and responsive to change economic opportunity (Francis, 2004). Entrepreneurship activities is a huge platform where every individuals can be engaged and make their life meaningful and successful. However, Bhutanese youth still find difficulties in taking up private entrepreneurship programmes today due to the lack of particular skill and specialization, mismatches between their education and the demands of activities, less encouragement from family and friends, lack of social and financial supports and the lack of proper working place.

Though there are many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship activities in the country, Bhutanese youth still finds difficulties in engaging themselves in such activities due to the lack of particular skills and specialization in the related filed. Though, youth have their own capability and skills to do the work in the certain field, they still lack behind due to the lack of the experience which the entrepreneurs tend to demand from the youth and fresh graduates. These are some of the questions which the youth and fresh graduates are looking answers for and if urgent call and emphasis is given on the issue, it would not take long to solve the problem (Yangdon, 2013).

Youth finds difficulties in engaging themselves and work under a good entrepreneur because they think that they do not have an adequate skills and ideas about the specific subjects and feel unsecure to take up the entrepreneurship activities though they have the capability. Youth should know that the skills can be only gained if one decides to take the first step and learn gradually. Bhutanese youths hesitate to take the first chance and entrepreneurs keep searching for experienced one which they may not find and in this way unskilled youths remains as unskilled and unspecialized.

Most of the Bhutanese youth assumes that there is no adequate private entrepreneurs in the nation where they can get engaged, but the fact is that Bhutan do have lots of entrepreneurs. According to the graduate programme for the design entrepreneur (2014), there are 63 local entrepreneurs, creating a total of over 200 employment opportunities nationwide. One of the most popular entrepreneurs of Bhutan is the Loden Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, Though there are lots of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship programmes in the nation, youth still find difficulties in engaging themselves in such programmes because there is a mismatches between their education and the demands of the activities.

In the education system in Bhutan, many of the students do not get the chance to learn about the entrepreneurship activities and how to go about it, if one fails to get a job related to one’s qualification. Most of the Bhutanese youths are unaware of the entrepreneurship activities as they are not advocated and they have not practiced in the school level and even in some of the university level. It likely seems that the Bhutanese education system is lagging in making the youths capable as the youths are not encouraged to take the entrepreneurship activities during the school level and they faces difficulties while they try to join the entrepreneurship activities. There is a need of encouragement and the supports from government for the students, both school and college for going to do the voluntary works and internships while they are in schools and colleges so that youth are well informed about the entrepreneurship activities (Penjor, 2014).

In Bhutan, youths are not much encouraged by the family and friends to take the entrepreneurship activities, so they lack the supports from the family and friends. It is evident that Bhutanese youths do not want to take up activity involving hard labour but given proper guidance and encouragement it should not be a challenge to take up the entrepreneurship activities (Subba, 2014). Most of the Bhutanese families are uneducated and they have very less and some do not have any idea about the entrepreneurship so they never try to encourage their children take a job which they do not know and heard of. They only wants their children to be in civil services as doctors or engineers. On the other hand, friends also do not give much supports in joining the entrepreneurship. So, even if some youths have genuine interest to take the entrepreneurship, by looking at their families and friends responds they would not like to join it and change the decisions.

Youths are likely to have less access to the financial issues and they tend to have less idea about       the financial problems related to the entrepreneurship programmes and business managements. The average cost of an entrepreneurship programme startup in 2004 was estimated to US$54,000 (Gem, 2004). Hence, if youth entrepreneurs are financially constrained, the result might be that the business would not be sustainable because undercapitalized businesses are more likely to fail (Storey & Greene, 2008).

To run a business or an entrepreneurship programme smoothly by a youth, one should have a good financial plan or the financial supports or else the programme is likely to collapse after sometime if the finance is not managed properly. If one wants to take any initiatives such as conducting social awareness, run a simple business or run a simple entrepreneurship programme, financial investment is required. Therefore, sometimes youths are not able implement their important ideas or proposal though they have willingness and good confidence because of the lack of good financial supports. Due to the lack of seed finance to initiate a business or an entrepreneurship programme some youths significant ideas remain unheard leading to youth’s inactive participation.

Entrepreneurship programmes are very young programmes in Bhutan and many of the youths as well as adults are unaware about it. We have very less entrepreneurship programmes in the country till date as compared to the other nations. Therefore, all the youths may not be likely to get engaged in the existing programmes so there is a lack of proper working place. There is a need of more entrepreneurship programmes in the country which will lead to more youth’s active involvement and even solving the unemployment cries in the nation. One of the most renowned entrepreneurship programmes in the country is the Loden Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. This programme is known all over the nation as the programme is engaging hundreds of Bhutanese youths and making an entrepreneurship programme better place to work. There is a still need of such enthusiastic entrepreneurship programmes in the country, so that more youths can get the opportunities to work in such entrepreneurship programmes and enhance their capabilities. To have a proper working place is very important since it is the place where the youths can show their capability and explore more gradually.

So, with the nation facing employment crisis, youth entrepreneurship program is becoming active in Bhutan, but Bhutanese youth still finds difficulties in engaging themselves in such programmes. Bhutanese youth faces the problems such as the lack of specific skills and the mismatches of their qualification demands of the work they want to do. Some youth lack in taking entrepreneurship activities because of the poor supports from the family and friends. Some youth cannot initiate the programmes though having good ideas due to the lack of social and financial supports and the lack of proper working place. Though youths are facing various obstacles in engaging themselves in the entrepreneurship programmes, there can be solutions for every difficulties and youth need to look for the solutions walk forward. There is a need of youth’s active participation and government’s active supports for the entrepreneurship programmes in the country to make the country better place to work.


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