The Loden Entrepreneurship Programme (LEP) offers interest and collateral free loans that are repayable over three years after an initial repayment holiday of up to 6 months to a year. The term of repayment will be linked to the nature of the business, for instance the period will be longer for an agricultural proposal where there is a growing and maturity cycle. Most types of business will be considered for support, whether in service, farming or manufacturing sectors, provided they comply with Buddhist principles and are expected to create employment opportunities.
Selected business ideas can avail loans up to maximum of Nu 1.5 million. Although no security is sought, we do require a guarantor.
The ‘Call for Business Proposals’ are made twice a year , around Spring and Fall seasons. During this time, aspiring Bhutanese entrepreneurs are invited to submit business proposals and other necessary documents listed in the detailed announcement. Business proposals are reviewed and shortlisted by a panel of judges comprising of Bhutanese and international business experts. The final shortlisted applicants are then called for a final round of interview.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Availability of loan
1. Who is eligible to avail the loan from the Loden Foundation?
Any Bhutanese individual with an innovative business idea and a complete set of documents is eligible to apply for the loan from Loden Foundation. We do not require any educational qualification, however, if you are already employed with the government, an NGO or private company you are not eligible to apply for the loan unless you intend to resign and carry on the project.
2. What is the maximum amount of loan I can obtain?
We provide a maximum of Nu. 1.5 million (15 Lakhs) to support one single business idea. However, the selection committee reserves the right to exclude any components of the budget that are unrealistic or not required. A contribution from you is looked upon favourably and you should specifically mention the amount of your equity in your proposal.
3. How much interest do I have to pay on the loan?
The loan provided by the Loden Foundation is interest free. We further provide a grace period ranging from three months an exceptionally upto one year depending on the nature of the business. The loan amount is then repayable within three years from the grace period.
4. Do I need collateral to avail the loan?
No. Loden wishes to provide business loans to enthusiastic Bhutanese who have the drive to run a business. However, in most cases these individuals do not have the means or the resources to realize their ideas. Therefore, Loden does not require individuals to have collateral for their loan but instead it is based on trust and honesty. We do require the individuals to bring in a guarantor - someone who is employed or has some sort of regular income and we will monitor your repayments.
5. I have already started my business, am I eligible to obtain a loan?
Yes. If you have started a small business and are looking forward to expanding you can apply for the loan. You must clearly mention the reason for expansion and the purpose for the need for additional funding.
6. I submitted a proposal with Loden Foundation in the past but did not get selected. Can I re-apply with the same idea?
Yes. You can still apply for the loan even though your proposal was not selected. However, this time, you have to clearly mention what is different in your proposal.
1. What kind of business ideas does Loden Foundation support?
Loden supports a wide range of business ideas that are innovative, has the capacity of scale-up and create employment opportunities in Bhutan. In the last 10-years, Loden has supported 153 businesses in various sectors including agriculture, environment, technology, tourism, traditional crafts, fashion, education, well-being and health. You can see all 153 entrepreneurs and their businesses here
2. What kind of business ideas are not supported by Loden Foundation?
Loden does not support business plans that have negative impact on the environment, social, culture and other that do not conform to Buddhist principles such as killing living beings. If you are not sure about your business idea you can always call us or email us during office hours.
1. What documents do I need to submit along with my proposal?
At the time submission of your proposal, your complete set of documents must include i) A Business Proposal ii) Curriculum Vitae (CV) iii) Personal Statement iv) Business Plan Submission form available on the website v) CIB report from www.cib.bt
2. What is a business proposal?
Business Proposal may vary depending on the type and size of the business. Your business proposal should be concise and articulate. There are few important components that you should include in your proposal. You can find a brief guideline that will help you draft your business proposal here
3. What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a document that gives an overview of your professional experience, educational qualifications, skills and other technical competencies.
4. What is a personal statement?
In your personal statement (600-800 words) you should be able to explain why your business is innovative and why you are the right person to lead the business.
5. What is a Business Plan Submission form?
The Business Plan Submission form is compulsory and must be filled by all applicant. The form is available here
6. What is a CIB report?
A CIB report is a record of your credit information, if any, from any financial institutions. The CIB report can be availed from the Credit Information Bureau of Bhutan (CIB) located at the NPPF Office Complex Building in Chubachu, Thimphu. If you are outside Thimphu, you may obtain your CIB report online by visiting their website at https://www.cib.bt/ or contacting the responsible officer.
Submission of documents
1. How and where do I submit my project documents?
Once you have all your documents ready, you must submit a complete set of documents in printed copies at the Loden Foundation office as well as email a copy of your complete set of document at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are outside Thimphu, you can mail your documents via Bhutan Post to Loden Foundation, PO Box 131, Thimphu. You are not required to be present in person while submitting your documents, therefore, you can ask your friends or family members to print the documents and submit at our office. Be sure to submit the documents in printed copies as well as an electronic copy via email.
Results of the selection
1. How do I know my business idea has been selected?
The Loden Foundation receives a high volume of proposals each time during the call for proposals. Therefore, we will only contact the shortlisted applicants for further round of interview. Once the final round of interview is completed and the proposals selected, an announcement will be made on Loden Foundation website and social media platforms.