This is to notify and inform the general public that the SHORT-TERM WORK PERMIT (E-Work Permit) is now being initiated by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment. The employers wishing to import foreign workers even for the duration less than 30 days should now compulsorily apply online through BLMIS with immediate effect. Besides the normal required documents, the individual/FWRA/employers should submit the medical clearance certificate of the foreigners obtained from the country of origin.This notification is referred to the approval of the night halt work permits only and for other categories and updates, MoICE will keep notifying in future.

Springboard Plus Program celebrates its 2024 cohort

6 June 2024: The Springboard Plus Program, a six-month ‘Startup Seed-acceleration’ initiative, concluded its 2024 cohort with an award day ceremony.

Spearheaded by the Department of Employment and Entrepreneurship under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Employment, in collaboration with UNDP Bhutan and Loden Foundation, and supported by Youth Co: Lab, co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation and Accelerating Asia, the event marked a significant milestone in fostering youth entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

The program aims to cater to the operational and management challenges faced by early-stage youth-led social enterprises. The Springboard Plus Program is designed to make startups ‘investment ready’.

“The current youth unemployment rate in Bhutan at 22.9 % and with more than nearly half of Bhutan’s population are youth, the urgency of addressing youth unemployment is crucial. Therefore, programs like Springboard Plus, that accelerate startups and create jobs will aid to addressing the issue of youth unemployment,” said Lyonpo Namgyal Dorji, Minster for Industry, Commerce and Employment. 

A total of 18 startups which comprises of youths from diverse backgrounds ranging from college students to aspiring entrepreneurs over the course of six months have received help from multiple online sessions and critical skills training tailored to address specific needs and challenges faced by early-stage entrepreneurs.

Like the 70 plus entrepreneurs from the earlier two cohorts, the current cohort is also being guided and mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs to navigate them through the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Springboard Plus Programme gives an opportunity to the cohorts to network, enabling them to connect with potential investors, industry experts and other entrepreneurs. To connect globally a startup from this cohort has been selected to participate the Youth Co: Lab Summit at Manilla, Philippines.

Figure 4Winners of Springboard Plus 2024

The program also focuses on selecting early-stage entrepreneurs with robust, scalable, and sustainable business models, providing them with the necessary tools to achieve their entrepreneurial milestones. The top five startups also receive financial support ranging from BTN 100,000 to BTN 500,000 as a ‘springboard’ for their startup.

“As the government spearheads building an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bhutan, UNDP Bhutan remains a steadfast partner in providing technical assistance, sharing global best practices, and facilitating connections with international networks. Our goal is to empower Bhutanese entrepreneurs, helping them to innovate, scale up, and contribute to the nation’s socio-economic development,” said UNDP Resident Representative, Mohammad Younus.

Over two cohorts, the springboard program has generated 81 job opportunities, on average 5 created by one startup.

With a total of now three cohorts celebrating their achievements, the Springboard Plus Program continues to pave the way for the next generation of Bhutanese entrepreneurs, fostering innovation, job creation, and sustainable economic growth. The dedication and collaboration among all stakeholders highlight the program’s success and its important role in Bhutan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Media Contact:

Tashi Tenzin, Assistant Program Officer, Department of Employment and Entrepreneurship | Email: ttenzin@moice.gov.bt

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