The third edition of Jabchor, an investment platform in Thimphu, saw five entrepreneurs with at least a year’s experience in their respective businesses pitch their ideas to investors on 16 April.
Jabchor is pilot initiative inspired by the concept of ‘Angel Investors’. Angel Investors are individuals who provide entrepreneurs and startups with capital during the early stages of business, in return for ownership equity.
In addition to capital, Angel Investors also provide valuable advice based on their own experience and connections to their networks. Angel investors invest individually or through groups, or through angel networks which enables in pooling of capital and better access to finance.
The Royal Monetary Authority initiated the Jabchor program and currently it is being coordinated by Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) with support from relevant stakeholders.
The BCCI received around 29 applicants for session 3 Jabchor. Amongst them, Drukyul production, Mineral pigment production, Zhiwa, Paysap and iHub were selected for the business pitch.
The platform has already pitched 10 entrepreneurs in last two Jabchor seasons and the program has proven to be popular with increasing buy-ins from prospective investors.
This program aims to mitigate most of the Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) entrepreneur’s challenges in business and technology, exploring financing window, market information and strategies and other bottlenecks at every stage of doing business.
The program will also provide a holistic support covering the entire business phases including formulation of business planning and consultation creating an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem for accelerating Bhutanese CSIs.
Rinzin Dorji from Kurtoe, Khoma pitched his business on mineral pigment production. The company is located at Taba, Thimphu and was established in 2017.
The key focus of the company is to produce rock pigments within the country and make the products available to Zorig institutes, and artistes in the country to curtail import of chemical pigments in the country.
Similarly, Karma Namgyel from Sergithang in Tsirang pitched his business on Drukyul production. The manufacturing unit aims to improve environment conservation through minimizing the usage of plastic bags in the country.
Karma Namgyel said that although the country has banned the use of plastic bags in 1990 it was reinforced in 2005, and again in 2009 and in 2019. It was prohibited in the country as plastic bags poses substantial threat to the environment
He added that, in view of the rising threat they are taking the initiative to start up the firm.
The raw materials used in the production of their products are extracted from jute fabrics which are imported from India and Bangladesh. The raw materials come in the form of jute.
The production aims to substitute plastic carry bags and polypropylene (PP) carry bag with bio degradable carry bags and enhance the conservation of environment and stop the plastic and PP pollution.
“We are not only into an objective of maximizing of profit but aim to go green and creating employment opportunities,” said Karma Namgyel.
Tashi Wangdi from Trashigang, founder of iHub, said that iHub co-worker is the solution to the mobile worker’s dilemma. He said iHub co-work appeals to a wide market from software development and design teams to entrepreneurs and researchers among others.
It also provides a flexible work environment offering clients communal and private spaces with secure, hi speed Wi-Fi, accessibility 24/7, parking, and business options such as conference rooms, whiteboards, printers, scanners and good coffee.