The Loden Foundation, with support from UNDP Bhutan, Mountain Hazelnuts, Society Switzerland Bhutan, Karuna Shechen and others, is pleased to call for business proposals from aspiring and existing Bhutanese entrepreneurs or community groups applicable under 3 funding windows this spring. However, Loden will also consider proposals outside of the 3 funding windows, in a wide range of entrepreneurial ventures that are innovative, viable, have the capacity to scale up and generate employment in Bhutan. The fund support will be interest and collateral free loan depending on the funding window that you apply for.

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. Young entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to apply.

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 April 2021 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: Selected applications will be offered an interest-free and collateral-free loan up to Nu. 1.5 million repayable within four years’ time. Loan 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 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 up to six months and are required to pay back the entire amount of loan within three-year time frame.

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 the general eligibility criteria set above, specific business proposals may have access to the three windows mentioned below. Funding will be available for a wide range of businesses including but not restricted to the three following funding windows.

  1. Loden-UNDP Bhutan Climate Change Funding Window: This funding window invites proposals, which will make a social and environment impact and contribute to Bhutan’s Nationally Determined Contributions. 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 criteria, the proposals under the Loden-UNDP Bhutan Climate Change Funding Window will also be evaluated based on the additional priority criterias:

  1. Address environment related problems
  2. Application of improved technologies
  3. Create employment opportunities and participation of women and youth in its implementation
  4. Support ongoing projects that can demonstrate innovation and scale up ideas
  5. Project Impact, sustainability and potential to scale up:
    • Funds will be released as interest and collateral free loan 
    • Up to 2 business ideas will be supported through this window
  1. Loden-Hazelnut Programme 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 (
    • Funds will be released as interest and collateral free loan
    • Only 1 business idea will be supported through this window
  1. Loden-SSB Funding Window: This funding window shall support a wide range of entrepreneurial ventures that are innovative, viable and has the capacity to scale up and generate employment in Bhutan.
    • Funds will be released as interest and collateral free loan
    • Minimum of 1 business idea will be supported through this window

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
  • CID copy

NOTE: 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 ‘’

Applications submitted after 5:00 pm on 12th April 2021 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 during office hours.

Click Frequently Asked Question for additional information.