Fall Call for Business Proposals 2020

The Loden Foundation and its partners are pleased to call for business proposals from aspiring and existing Bhutanese entrepreneurs or community groups applicable under 4 funding windows this fall. The fund support will be a combination of grants as well as interest and collateral free loans, depending on the funding window that you apply.

Amidst numerous challenges caused or worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 4 funding windows shall support a wide range of entrepreneurial ventures that present solutions through innovative and viable businesses. It is particularly important that proposals are aligned to the national priorities of creating employment and improving the resilience of the Bhutanese economy as it meets the new challenges.

Standard Selection Process: An independent panel of judges comprising of both national and international business experts will evaluate the business proposals and the applicants. Shortlisted applications will then be called for an interview in November 2020 at the Loden office in Thimphu or interviews will be conducted virtually. The dates remain subject to change, however, prior notice will be given on the website on any change of dates.

Standard Loan Scheme and Repayment Procedure: Depending on the funding window selected applications will be offered a combination of grant as well as interest-free and collateral-free loan up to Nu. 1.5 million. Loans will repayable within three years’ time. The entrepreneurs are normally given a grace period up to six months depending on the business. Funds will be disbursed within two months after the final results are announced, upon fulfilling all necessary prerequisites. The selected applicants will be asked to sign a loan agreement with the Loden Foundation and also present a guarantor. The funds are disbursed in two tranches and the second tranche of the funds shall be made upon the receipt of the proper use of money received in the first tranche and with positive recommendation from the project monitoring team from Loden.

Mentoring Support: Mentoring support shall be provided to the selected entrepreneurs to support the progress of the business and provide guidance in necessary areas related to business. Once the business is operational, the entrepreneurs shall submit a detailed written report to Loden office every six months.

What business ideas are eligible to apply?

The Loden Entrepreneurship Programme (LEP) exists to help young Bhutanese men and women who have the vision, drive and idea to set up or scale-up a business, which is economically beneficial, socially responsible, culturally sensitive and environment friendly.

The proposal will be evaluated based on the following priority criteria:

  1. Financial viability, able to repay the loan.
  2. Cultural, social and ecological sensitivity (e.g. not a slaughter house, fishery, logging, bar etc.)
  3. Clear and realistic (having started on a small scale is a plus).
  4. Social impact such as employment generation, community benefit, etc.
  5. Geographic suitability or regional balance: Out of Thimphu is advantageous.
  6. Non-duplication of LEP funded projects or project, should not be something which is already in the market and where there is no requirement for such projects.
  7. Entrepreneurial drive and motivation. Good business is not sufficient; we need real entrepreneurs.
  8. Personal commitment: Teamwork and personal investment are plus.
  9. Skills: understanding competition and key business figures.

In addition to general eligibility criteria set above, the Loden Fall Call for Business Proposal 2020, business proposals must fit into the requirement of the following 4 funding windows-

  1. Loden-UNDP Bhutan Covid-19 Response Fund II: This funding window invites business proposals that can address the gaps created by Covid-19 pandemic in the country and is open to the recent participants of trainings led by Bhutan YDF and RENEW. However, the fund is not guaranteed for these participants if they do not meet the selection criteria and will then be open to those who meet the criteria. This funding window is a part of joint partnership between UNDP Bhutan, Loden Foundation, Bhutan YDF and RENEW.
    • Funds will release as a combination of grants and interest and collateral free loan.
    • Up to 6 business ideas will be supported through this window
  2. Loden-UNICEF Bhutan Funding Window: This funding window is part of Loden SEED programme and only invites business proposals from participants who have secured top 3 positions during the Loden SEED training held at the Youth Friendly Integrated Service Centers in 2020. This funding window is in partnership with UNICEF Bhutan and Youth Center Division at Department of Youth and Sports under the Ministry of Education.
    • Funds will be released as interest and collateral free loan
    • Up to 2 business ideas will be supported through this window
  3. Loden-Hazelnut Progamme Funding window: This funding window invites potential business proposals along the hazelnut value chain in Bhutan. Please see the Mountain Hazelnuts website for some potential business ideas HERE
    • Funds will be released as interest and collateral free loan
    • Up to 4 business ideas will be supported through this window
  4. Loden-SSB Funding Window: This funding window invites business proposals from any aspiring and existing entrepreneurs that provide solutions to challenges caused or worsened by the covid-19 pandemic in Bhutan. This funding window is in partnership with Society Switzerland Bhutan (SSB).
    • Funds will be released as interest and collateral free loan
    • Up to 2 business ideas will be supported through this window

Application Process:

The interested applicants must submit the following documents:

  1. A simple business proposal (not exceeding 15 pages) GUIDELINE 
  2. An application form for applicants applying under Loden-UNDP Covid-19 Response Fund II HERE
  3. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  4. Personal statement explaining why you are interested in the chosen business
  5. Duly filled ‘Business Plan Submission form available HERE
  6. Latest CIB report of the applicant and spouse, if married, from the Credit Information Bureau of Bhutan. For further details, you may visit www.cib.bt

NOTE: Applicants applying for Loden-UNDP Bhutan Covid-19 Response Fund II can skip points 1, 3, 4 and 5

If you are re-applying with the same idea, you must explicitly mention what is new in your business plan. You must also indicate if you have received or applied for funding for the same business from other funding sources.

Interested applicants must submit the complete set of documents via email in a single PDF file to ‘application@loden.org’

Applications submitted after 5:00 pm on 31st October 2020 will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the interview rounds. For any further information, you may contact Mr. Lhakpa, Programme Officer, at office phone 7719-5599 or email at lhakpa@loden.org during office hours.

Click Frequently Asked Question for additional information.