TED’s Program on Supporting Tibetan MSMEs

The Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development (TED); a program of SARD, Department of Finance; is running “Supporting Tibetan MSMEs under the Tibetan Entrepreneurship Program”. The project is being carried out in partnership with M-CRIL, a Gurgaon based Indian development consulting organisation.

The project to support Tibetan Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), being carried out this pilot year in Greater Dharamsala and Dehradun regions, includes technical assistance, trainings and other support to empower these microenterprises, in an effort to make them more sustainable and market ready.

As part of the project, Tibetan street vendors are being provided with distinct product tags, stamps with Tibetan motifs, and identity cards. These are being provided to ensure a stronger collective identity as Tibetan businesses, as well as to give a definitive individual identity to each Tibetan street vendor.

A team of designers from the Indian Institute of Art & Design, New Delhi, supported by institute faculty members, are working in McLeod Ganj to transform all the Tibetan street vendor stalls in McLeod Ganj, to ensure better display and merchandising.

The street vendors have been provided training in bookkeeping, have been organised into self help groups, and their bank accounts opened. In order to ensure regular income to the street vendors through the year, TED is trying to establish market linkages for the hand knitted products made by Tibetan women among the Indian customers.

The Tibetan restaurant owners are being supported by the registration of their association in McLeod Ganj. The hotels and restaurant owners have been provided training in restaurant management by hotel management experts, to ensure better hygiene and good customer relations. The project is also helping the restaurant owners get certifications like FSSAI, to ensure legal compliance. M-CRIL team is providing business advisory to the restaurant owners, to enable them to run their businesses better.

TED and M-CRIL are providing business advisory and capacity building to other Tibetan microenterprises that are involved in production. These include a tofu manufacturing unit, wood carving unit, salons as well as handicraft shops. TED will shortly provide trainings in financial instruments and investments, as well as in digital marketing, to the hotels and restaurant owners, as well as other Tibetan microenterprises.

A total of 100 Tibetan microenterprises are targeted during this year long project that ends in May 2019. The project is expected to be gradually scaled up to other Tibetan settlements in the following years. This project is expected to be part of a four year program of support to Tibetan microenterprises, aimed at transforming them into vibrant Tibetan businesses that contribute ably to the Tibetan society.

This initiative is funded by USAID under the Tibetan Self-Reliance and Resilience (TSRR) Program