Spring 2020: Call for Business Proposals

UPDATE: 12 March 2020 – Please note that it is not mandatory to submit your documents in printed copies at the Loden Foundation office. You are requested to email all documents in single PDF file to application@loden.org

This update is issued to avoid travelling considering the current covid-19 situation in the country.

The Loden Foundation is pleased to call for business proposals from the aspiring Bhutanese entrepreneurs for interest-free and collateral-free loan up to Nu. 1.5 million. The programme shall support a wide range of entrepreneurial ventures that are innovative, viable and has the capacity to scale up and generate employment in Bhutan.

Standard Selection Process: An independent panel of judges comprising of both international and local business experts will evaluate the business proposals. Shortlisted applications will be then called for interview by beginning of April 2020. The final interview of the shortlisted applicants will take place in the Loden office in Thimphu by mid of April 2020. 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: Selected will be offered an interest-free and collateral-free loan up to Nu.1.5 million repayable within three years time. Loan will be disbursed within two months after the final results are announced upon fulfilling necessary prerequisites. The selected applicants will be asked to sign a contract agreement with the Loden Foundation and also present a guarantor. The fund is normally paid directly to the source of the equipment or such other services for which the fund is used. It is also paid directly to the bank account of the business, The loan is disbursed in two tranches and the second tranche of the loan 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 operational, the entrepreneurs shall submit a detailed written report to Loden office every six months. The entrepreneurs are normally given a grace period of six months and required to pay back the whole amount of loan within three-year time frme.

What business ideas are eligible to apply?

The Loden Entrepreneurship Programme 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: employment generation, community benefit, etc.
  5. Geographic suitability or regional balance: Out of Thimphu is advantageous.
  6. Dependability: Loden should make a difference.
  7. 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.
  8. Entrepreneurial drive and motivation. Good business is not sufficient; we need real entrepreneurs.
  9. Personal commitment: Teamwork and personal investment are plus.
  10. Skills: understanding competition and key business figures.

In addition to eligible business proposals that fit the above criteria, Loden Foundation in partnership with UNDP Bhutan is also pleased to invite business proposals under the Loden-UNDP Bhutan funding window, which will make a social and environment impact and contribute to Bhutan’s Nationally Determined Contributions.

Loden-UNDP Bhutan window: The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) with support from UNDP Bhutan is implementing the project “Gender Responsive Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)” implementation in Bhutan (2019-2021). The project reiterates RGoB’s commitment to remain carbon neutral and aims to develop climate change actions to deliver sustainable and low-carbon development. The project is implemented through the National Environment Commission (NEC) and the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) with funding support from European Union and the Governments of Germany and Spain, and technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In addition to general criterias, the proposals under the Loden-UNDP Bhutan funding window will also be evaluated based on the additional priority criterias:

  1. Address environment related problems
  2. Innovative business ideas
  3. Application of improved technologies
  4. Create employment opportunities and participation of women and youth in its implementation
  5. Support ongoing projects that can demonstrate innovation and scale up ideas
  6. Project Impact, sustainability and potential to scale up
  7. More supporting information, click

Application Process:

The interested applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A simple business proposal (not exceeding 15 pages) GUIDELINE
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal statement explaining why you are interested in the chosen business
  • Duly filled ‘Business Plan Submission form available HERE
  • Latest CIB report of the applicant and spouse, if married, from the Credit Information Bureau of Bhutan. For further details, you may visit https://www.cib.bt/

NOTE: If you are re-applying with the same idea, you must explicitly mention what is new in your business plan.

Interested applicants must email the complete set of documents in a single PDF file to ‘application@loden.org’ If you are outside of Thimphu and do not have internet facilities, the documents may also be sent via post to the Loden Foundation, Post box 131, Thimphu.

Applications that do not reach the Loden Foundation office or the Loden Foundation post box before 5:00 pm on 20th March 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.