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Turning ideas into reality

Ideas don’t often turn into reality. It’s undoubtedly difficult, whether as an entrepreneur or corporate executive, to give ideas life. If it were so easy, everyone would do it. It would have been just that simple.

But with the inception of the Startup Weekend, the arduous task to turn one’s ideas into reality has been simplified and becoming an entrepreneurhas become easy. Since thefirst Startup Weekend began on January 10, 2016, we saw the first national Startup Weekend in the country on a bigger and grander scale last month in Thimphu.

It’s heartening that such an event would be now held annually. The Prime Minister had also emphasized that such an event must continue and must be spread, and that the government is going to finance such event. The Startup Weekend is basically a 54-hour weekend event during which ideas for new startups are pitched, thus enabling participants to turn ideas into reality and become entrepreneurs in just 54 hours. The event also renders a platform where students from different colleges and entrepreneurs participate and pitch their business ideas.

The Startup Weekend is a timely intervention that could help address the youth unemployment issue, which remains a major challenge confronting Bhutan. While government jobs continue to remain the most sought after by jobseekers, it’s not the job of the government to give jobs. This intervention is timely, therefore, that the government is facilitating entrepreneurship and letting young people become entrepreneurs. This would only go on to contribute to economic growth in the country and more jobs too.

Additionally,such event is also providing our young Bhutanese the skills to be more innovative and lessons to lead entrepreneurial successes. It’s also keeping them engaged in a productive way. Even they are abreast now that they have a platform, even if they are presently in colleges, through which they can materialize their ideas into action. They are also aware that they need not fret about getting a job after college and that a platform has been rendered where these students can be the creators of jobs. Another advantage is that it’s also getting people with attractive ideas get connected and recommended to relevant organizations for support, besides the attractive cash prizes too.

However, many startups off late have been confronting challenges. They say most of the government policies are aimed at bigger businesses and that non-availability of raw materials has been a constraint. Other problems range from finding investors from abroad, access to loans, lack of workshops, trainings and international exposure, to restrictive policies and bureaucratic rigmarole. And while we have facilitated their entry into the market, it goes without saying that we now need to facilitate their journey too.