Phuntshok Dechen Yangchen – the student entrepreneur behind ‘Guram’ business wins Bhutan Student Entrepreneur Award 2019

In an effort to promote entrepreneurship among young Bhutanese, Loden Foundation started the Loden SEED (Student Empowerment Through Entrepreneurship Development) in 2014 to provide early exposure on fundamentals of entrepreneurship. The Loden SEED project, provides training and idea competition among all colleges and technical training institutes in Bhutan in addition to finance student-led on-campus business with interest and collateral free loan up to Nu. 100,000/-

Watch our short video on the project Here

 

As a part of the Loden SEED project, the Druk Tshongrig Gatoen hosted the 5th edition of Bhutan Student Entrepreneur Award competition on 19 October this year. The competition encourages students who operate a social business while attending a full-time programme in colleges providing solutions to challenges in their institutions. This year, a total of 4 student entrepreneurs competed for the award at the Thimphu Clock Tower through a live presentation of their business. The applicants comprised of student entrepreneurs supported through Loden SEED project as well as others who started their business on their own.

 

Ms Phuntshok Dechen Yangchen, who is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Commerce majoring in Finance at the Royal Thimphu College and the founder of Guram, won the Best Student Entrepreneur Award 2019. Phunthshok started the business along with two of her business partners in 2019. They manufacture candies using spices and herbs, which are found in Bhutan for flavoring and honey for sweetening. Until now they have been catering towards foreigners and have been making the candies in their homes and in college. They have developed three different flavours of caramels, cinnamon flavored chocolates and seabuckthorn flavored lollipops.

 

The top 4 finalist eagerly waiting to hear the results at the closing of Druk Tshongrig Gatoen held at RUB, Thimphu.

A cash prize of Nu.50,000 was awarded to reinvest or scale up her startup. In addition to the cash prize, Phuntshok will now represent Bhutan at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Award event in Cape Town, South Africa in March to compete at an International level. The other competitors were, Ms Karma Tshering Tshomo who is currently pursuing Bachelor of Computer Application at the Gyalpozhing College of Information Technology. She is running a business called Revive Kitchen with her friends supported through Loden SEED programme. Mr. Tej Bdr. Ghalley who is pursuing BBA marketing at Gedu College of Business Studies runs a business called Living Agro  that deals in ginger, garlic paste, and Chilli garlic sauce. Ms. Yoezer Lhamo Dorje who is currently pursing BA Population and Development Studies at Sherubtse College is the founder of Shercol Laundry Service supported through Loden SEED project. Since 2014, total of four students from various colleges were awarded the Bhutan Student Entrepreneur and they received the opportunity to attend Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) overseas. At present two of them have their own startup companies. The Bhutan Student Entrepreneur Award is led by the Loden Foundation in partnership with Druk Tshongrig Gatoen and with support from Entrepreneurship Organisation Global Student Entrepreneurship Award.