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The flagship programme plans to establish 66 new startups by the end of the current financial year (file photo)
The flagship programme plans to establish 66 new startups by the end of the current financial year (file photo)

Startup and CSI flagship programme rolls out

Younten Tshedup

With the startup and cottage and small industries (CSI) flagship programme officially rolling out, more than 500 jobs are expected to create in the current fiscal year.

Twenty-five new CSIs will also be opened by the end of the current fiscal year.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering signed the annual performance agreement (APA) for the startup and CSI flagship programme with the Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma yesterday.

The CSI was identified as one the flagship programme in view of its greater socioeconomic roles—driving innovation and investment, diversifying economic base, creating employment opportunities, curbing rural-urban migration, reducing poverty, and potential to contribute towards economic self-reliance.

Officials said that the flagship programme would provide holistic support covering the entire business phases and create an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem for the development of CSIs.

The programme would focus on key domains such as entrepreneurship culture, legal and policy framework, access to finance and incentives, human capital development, access to finance and business development supports.

Some of the key features of the programmes are to enhance government approach, provide end-to-end support and link startups and CSI development.

In an effort to enhance the culture of entrepreneurship, the programme in the current fiscal year targets to build the competency of aspiring entrepreneurs by training 330 youth and establish 66 new startups.

Through startups, the project estimates to create 200 jobs in the current financial year, which is projected to grow to 800 by the end of the 12th Plan.

To ensure and enhance access to market, the programme plans to create market platforms by organising CSI fair, Expos and roadshows.

At least three events would be conducted in the current fiscal year.

The programme also plans to develop national standards for CSI products and enhance market for existing products like noodles and sanitary towels.

By the end of the 12 Plan, the programme expects to create a dedicated CSI product outlets, both inside and outside the country, and upscale 21 products, diversify, and export them.

A national-level CSI fair will also be institutionalised along with standardising, certifying and developing Brand Bhutan.

As part of the flagship programme, the CSI policy was launched during the BEFIT 2019, to bring about improved entrepreneurship ecosystem for the CSI sector.

The Department of Small and Cottage Industry, along with implementing partners from the labour ministry and other agencies concerned, is implementing the flagship programme.

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