The Youth Employment and Rural Entrepreneurship (YERE) Project is a three-year project financed by Japan Social Development Fund through the World Bank and is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Bhutan.
The development objectives of the YERE Project for Bhutan are to generate new and more productive employment for the poor and vulnerable youth in six Dzongkhags (Districts) of Chhukha, Dagana Haa, Samtse, Trongsa and Wangduephodrang. The proposed project will achieve this objective by promoting the establishment of youth-led, managed, and operated business enterprises aimed at generating employment for poor and unprivileged youth. These focused areas are aligned with the Royal Government of Bhutan’s overall goal of the 12th FYP (2018-2023), that is, “Just, Harmonious, Sustainable Society through Enhanced Decentralization” and the RNR sector’s 12th FYP “Inclusive and Sustainable Development for ensuring food self-sufficiency and economic self-reliance.”
The project has four components:
Component 1: Support Structures to Facilitate Youth-Led Enterprise (YLE) Development
A. Project Advisory Network: The project will establish Advisory Network (PAN) that will include representatives of relevant state agencies. The main roles of the PAN are to:
- Review and approve selected business plans and small grant proposals submitted by YLEs, after they are reviewed by project management staff who will ensure that the proposals meet basic criteria;
- Advise on branding and standards for local cooperative associations when they are established;
- Provide advice and guidance on business opportunities;
- Assist in establishing an association of YLEs to ensure coordination of capacity building activities, exchange of experience, joint procurement, and brand marketing; and,
- Assist in identifying experts and trainers with specialized expertise.
B. Mobile Training and Mentoring Team: The project will create mobile training and mentoring teams (MTMTs) consisting of competitively experts and trainers. The MTMTs will support Youth Led-Enterprises (YLEs) in the six project areas by:
- Providing awareness building and technical advice to YLEs in the preparation of small grant funding proposals which would be submitted for consideration to the PAN;
- Advising on and guide the preparation of business plans;
- Supporting the establishment of YLEs in project target areas; and
- Implementing a mentoring and coaching program.
Component 2: Youth Development and Empowerment:
The target of the project is to provide training to 500 youth within the project areas. The MTMTs hired by the project will provide training and mentoring support in the following field.
A. Capacity building in life skills;
B. Business and Technical Training in Targeted Skills and Product Development; and
C. ICT Training and Applications.
Component 3: Operationalization of YLEs
A. Capacity Building for Established YLEs: 100 existing YLEs will be supported by the MTMTs for capacity building. The focus will be to provide capacity building on business accounting, transparency, establishing rules for members to join or leave YLEs, sharing arrangements for input and marketing efforts, and contracting arrangements.
B. Grants for New Enterprises: 100 new YLEs will be supported by the project. YLEs will be eligible to compete for small business grants after completion of the youth development and empowerment program, which will take place during the first nine months of the project.
C. Strengthening of Market Linkages: The project assist YLEs to facilitate marketing of new products outside the project area such as cities’ centralized bazaars or other special locations.