Bhutan is a small country and has about 9.4% youth unemployment. While this may not sound like a big number, in a small country like Bhutan it has become the biggest single national issue concerning people because youth without jobs are prone to drugs and suicide. As social entrepreneur, SonamJatso knows that there is nothing like social enterprise and owning your own business, from which you can become a job provider. In the year 2000 Sonam was invited to the World Trade Center in New York City and given the “World Young Entrepreneur Award.”
Sonam’s own humble roots from rural eastern Bhutan helped him understand the importance of starting your own business. “Through education and entrepreneurship you can become successful, this is a powerful combination,” he emphasizes as a life principle adding, “The only way to solve unemployment of youth is through entrepreneurship for youth and job creation through self employment.”
Every weekend Sonam convenes social entrepreneurs like himself in Bhutan who have become successful from humble roots to share their business experiences with youth who are looking for opportunity and a future. From ideas of youth with a vision, Sonam’s friends and colleagues with experience incubate small enterprises that give youth the empowerment to start their own businesses. “Talk business” on Sundays became an informal ongoing workshop and gathering that has every since been known as “Bhutan Innovation Research Development Service”under the acronym “BIRDS” with the theme that “with wind beneath your wings you can fly.” And from BIRDS many young Bhutanese social entrepreneurs have taken off!