DHARAMSALA, May 25: Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development (TED), an initiative of the Department of Finance of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), in partnership with the Dalai Lama Foundation in Canada today launched ‘Sikyong Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ and ‘Investment Award for Up and Coming Entrepreneurs’ at a press conference held here in Dharamsala to encourage and inspire Tibetan entrepreneurs to contribute to the overall socio-economic health of the Tibetan community.
“The ‘Sikyong Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ will be awarded a sum of INR 21,00000/- in recognition of the enterpreneur’s contribution to the community and to encourage other Tibetans to step forward and become involved in assuring the Socio-economic health of the Tibetan community. The Investment Award for Up and Coming Entrepreneurs’ is a competition to identify new entrepreneurs who have great business plan but do not have the financial support to make it a reality. Two to three finalists in the Up and Coming Entrepreneurs contest will be awarded prizes of up to a total of INR 15,00000/- ,” read a press release issued on the day.
The winners will be announced in September after a selection process that distinguishes transformative entrepreneurs who are innovative, driving large-scale change, and are poised to make an even greater impact in the Tibetan community.
Addressing media persons today, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected political leader of the Tibetan people called the awards an innovative step and lauded the Finance Department for taking the initiative to create an environment of entrepreneurship for a self-reliant society.
Sikyong Sangay said that to be Self-reliant, which is one of the three guiding principles of the 14th Kashag, sound economic health of the community is of utmost importance.
Based on a research conducted by the planning commission a few years back, Sikyong said, “26.4% of the Tibetans in exile are involved in agro-related livelihoods where as 27.3% are in business. However, over 41% of the gross income of the Tibetan people is derived from businesses where as only 8.5% is derived from agriculture. This shows that the main economic activity of the Tibetan people in exile is business.”
“I hope that this innovative initiative produces quality Tibetan entrepreneurs with great vision and strategy that will benefit both the individual Tibetans and the Tibetan public at large,” he added.
Sikyong further called for the inclusion of business-oriented skills, entrepreneurship studies in Tibetan school syllabus in order to inculcate a sense of business awareness from a tender age.
Sikyong Sangay was accompanied by Mr Trinley Gyatso, Secretary of the Department of Finance, CTA at the press conference.
TED is a recently conceptualised initiative of the Department of Finance, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) aiming to mobilise and amplify Tibetan entrepreneurial spirit by fostering, nurturing, accelerating value-add connections and celebrating entrepreneurship. TED aims to affect the profound transformation of the Tibetan community in-exile with its role as a mobiliser of the Tibetan entrepreneurial spirit to partake in global opportunities and contribute to the community’s economic well-being. In doing so, TED aims to support existing businesses’ expansion and sustainability, as well as convert high-potential youth business ideas into successful ventures.