Private sector development in Bhutan is relatively weak despite the Government’s effort to encourage it. The vast majority of Bhutanese population is active in subsistence agricultural production. Weak private sector development combined with a saturated employment market in other segments (such as government) resulted in decreasing opportunities for graduates to find a professional job after having completed their education in the more traditional sciences (Agriculture, Animal science, Forestry, etc.).
To provide students with a perspective despite this trend, CNR would like to invest in developing a more entrepreneurial attitude amongst students with a focus on agri-business development. With a more entrepreneurial attitude and skills they believe unemployment rates could drop. The university decided to develop courses for people who want to be entrepreneurs, who want to set up their own business and at the same time help develop the rural environment and economy in a sustainable way.
The bottleneck in this ambition was the fact that CNR had inadequate capacity to provide training in agri-business and entrepreneurship. Developing this capacity was the main objective of the TMT program.
The NFP program consisted of three interventions. There were two 5-day trainings of trainers (ToT) with a focus on:
- Identifying and enhancing the necessary competencies of staff (lecturers) for entrepreneurship development of students;
- Evaluate and adopt the best methodologies that could be introduced to stimulate entrepreneurial competences (including attitude) of students, and ways to assess students’ performance in these competency areas.
- Design modules addressing different aspects of entrepreneurship which can be used both within current academic curricula as well as offered as short courses for mid-career professionals, and to unemployed youth;
And there was one exchange visit to Wageningen University & Research to learn from agri-business development and entrepreneurship learning programmes within WUR and the Netherlands was also part of the program.
In total, 42 participants participated in the NFP program. Participants were very positive in the evaluation of the training. Especially the revisit of the Entrepreneurship Development Program was valued as well as the many tools that were shared that could be included in the curricula. The participants also commended the facilitators on their good preparation and facilitation skills.