UN Support for development of MSMEs and employment generation

About the project:

furniture unitUNDP staff with project beneficiary who started a successful furniture unit under the MSME project. Photo Kevin Richtscheid © UNDP Bhutan

The arts and crafts industry in Bhutan is an important source of livelihood for artisans, producers and retailers, especially in the rural areas. The Royal Government is firmly to reducing poverty as well as promoting cultural industries as a means to alleviate poverty. 

To this effect, with UNDP support the government has formulated the Brand Bhutan Strategy to promote and enhance the quality of local craft products and services. The Brand Bhutan ensures that “Made in Bhutan” stands not only for quality products, but also for a set of beliefs and working practices behind those products that will be respected in the future.

In addition, Bhutan SEAL was initiated to establish a quality benchmark for Bhutanese handicraft products for export and to gain international market access. The Bhutan SEAL preserves traditional craft knowledge and skills and making it more relevant and sustainable, while promoting innovations and quality.

Following this, a system of Seal of Excellence (SoE) and Seal of Quality (SoQ) was established to generate overall income and promotion of products by enhancing both domestic and international markets.

The project aims to promote micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and generate employment by creating an enabling environment and with the support of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The project intervention will ensure:

  • Access to international market enhanced by conducting DTIS and regional market study;
  • Interest of consumer rights promoted and reducing unfair trade practices;
  • Community income and employment generation programs supported in targeted areas and
  • Culture Industry - craft sector developed

Project Outline

To develop Brand Bhutan by strategizing and having clear understanding of the concept and clear picture of how the Brand will benefit the exports of Bhutan.

At the upstream level, UNDP provided both technical and financial supports to the government to formulate new policies which include the Economic Development Policy 2010, the Industrial Infrastructure Development Policy, and the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study and National Export Strategy for pro-poor growth. UN also supported the Government in enhancing access to international markets through improved negotiation capacity and understanding of global and regional trade agreement and facilities.

  • Promoting foreign and domestic investment and development of government capacities to attract and promote such investment
  • Community income and employment generation programs supported in rural areas
  • Promotion of a culture industry and craft sector developed
  • Capacity of RGoB enhanced to implement social protection schemes to respond to economic constraints and vulnerabilities with focus on employment generation and pro poor growth.                                    


Donors Amount USD
$ 94, 050

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