The Society Switzerland-Bhutan (SSB) is contributing to Loden Foundation to support their effort in promoting entrepreneurial development in Bhutan.

On behalf of the Society Switzerland - Bhutan and its sister organisation Bhutan - Switzerland Society (BSS) Lyonpo Dr. Kinzang Dorji (President of BSS) and Loden Foundation signed the contract in Thimphu on Friday March 29th.

The SSB strategy 2018-2022 stipulates the promotion of entrepreneurship in urban and rural areas as the first of three pillars. Bhutan still faces challenges with high youth unemployment and the still emerging private sector is growing only slowly for various reasons (e.g. lack of finance, small market, difficult access to information and raw materials, etc.). However, the private sector has to absorb most of the young people entering the labour market as the number of government jobs is no longer growing as in the past. Bhutan has therefore formulated a national entrepreneurship strategy in 2015 to accelerate job creation in the private sector.

SSB has evaluated several options and assessed Loden Foundation as the ideal partner to support the promotion of entrepreneurs. It is one of the first registered NGOs in Bhutan (2000) and it has an excellent track record and reputation. It has so far supported 159 entrepreneurs, many of them are women, and trained hundreds of persons. The Foundation operates various programmes such as the entrepreneurship promotion (incl. selection, training, financing and mentoring of young entrepreneurs), the student empowerment through entrepreneurship development (an awareness raising programme at colleges and university institutes) and it provides various awards. Loden Foundation also provides tailor made trainings and promotion and is active in educational as well as cultural areas.

The SSB support of CHF 10‘000 per year for the next 4 years will be dedicated to the financing of one entrepreneur, a first one will be selected from the current call for business proposals, sponsoring of the „Loden Best Entrepreneur Award“ as well as supporting of the student entrepreneurship  empowerment programme (SEED). SBB will maintain a constant dialogue with Loden about the support and its achievements. It also monitors the context and trends in the private sector and youth unemployment. The SSB board is looking forward to this partnership with great interest and motivation. As it is a substantial investment, SSB will look for additional sponsors to finance this partnership.