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Entrepreneurship for Creative Industries, Bhutan

To promote the development of the private sector as a viable source of income and employment, the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) has given extra attention to the creation of an enabling environment for private sector development in its Five Year Development Plans. While acknowledging the potential as a source of income generation, benefiting rural development and youth and women employment, at the same time the importance of promoting Creative Industries (CIs) and MSME development is highlighted in the 10th Five-Year Plan 2008-2013.

During a mission to Bhutan in early 2007, the UNIDO Project Manager (PSD/RWE) reviewed with the RGoB its PSD-related development priorities. She discussed the relevance of promoting Bhutan’s Creative Industries through women and youth entrepreneurship and MSME development with relevant agencies, such as UNDP Bhutan, Government counterparts, donor agencies and the private sector. It was agreed that there is a pressing need for promoting Creative Industries to unleash Bhutan’s entrepreneurial potential and private sector development for job creation, using the potential of the creative sector. There was significant commitment among the various stakeholders for a MSME/private sector approach in this sector.

In light of the above, the UR for Bhutan, during his mission to Bhutan (16-20 February 2008), had meetings with DADM to review assistance programmes required. Subsequently, he was requested by the Planning Ministry to include the current proposal for Private Sector Development in an overview of UNIDO services that could be offered to Bhutan (please see communication attached). Contacts were established with the ADA representatives for funding consideration.

The design of the proposed pilot project is based on a previously proposed joint UNIDO/UNESCO/UNDP programme for developing Creative Industries in Bhutan, which is part of UNDAF (UNDAF 2008-2012, Outcome 1). The partner agencies have started their planned project activities, which will run until the end of 2009. UNIDO intends to connect and build synergies with this pilot project to support Creative Industries in Bhutan.

The proposed pilot project is to contribute to building Bhutan’s culture-based Creative Industries’ human resources for enhancing productivity and competitiveness as a strategy to further develop the MSME sector, without compromising its cultural heritage and traditions.

Development objective:The project will promote the Creative Industries in Bhutan, notably the sectors of arts and crafts and traditional/cultural-specific products, as an engine of economic growth through strengthening the institutional support system for creative MSME development, and the facilitation of value-added production and market linkages to promote trade and export of Creative Industries products’.

This will have an impact on the Millennium Development Goals, specifically private sector development and job creation for special target groups: youth and women in rural and urban communities.

The immediate objective is:To support the enhancement of product development, marketing, packaging and innovative designs, quality, value-added production and entrepreneurial competence for job creation and (self-) employment in Creative Industries for women and youth, through capacity building within VTCs and networks of Business Support Organizations (BSOs), as well as public-private partnerships with relevant institutions and targeted rural and urban communities’.

The project outputs foreseen are:

1. Capacities of MoHCA and Ministry of Trade and Industry built to support the mapping of Bhutan’s cultural resources with a culture/creative industries data system for policy preparation, planning and gender sensitive programme interventions for the development of CIs in Bhutan.

2. Capacities of VTCs (minimum 1) and BSOs (2-5) built in BDS for Creative Industries to instil innovative approaches, competitive and creative thinking combined with entrepreneurship development.

3. Business and entrepreneurial competency programmes incorporated in VTCs dealing with CIs to promote MSMEs, i.e. National Institute for Zorig Chusum.

This pilot project is to be implemented by PTC/PSD/RWE, in cooperation with PCF/RST, PTC/TCB/PQE, and PTC/AGR and in close consultation with the UNIDO Regional Office in India and the Resident Coordinator in Thimphu