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  • 04-Sep-2017

BAOWE’s Community Kitchen


BAOWE’s Community Kitchen

As development overtakes our hitherto simple lives bringing with it wealth and economic benefits our societies grow further apart and we often land up living lonely unhappy lives. This compounded with the drudgery of poverty makes life almost unbearable.

Bhutan, the land of Gross National Happiness enjoys gender parity, where as a mostly matriarchal society, property rights goes to the girl child. With this utopian background it is a surprise, then why more that 70% of unemployed are women. It becomes obvious that most of the so-called unemployed are working in their fields performing backbreaking chores with little or no financial gains. However Rural Bhutan still honors social values and family togetherness. Whereas, in cities and towns inspite of growing wealth and development, competitive lifestyles is making strangers of neighbours and creating stressful social divides.

The focus of this Project is to address poverty and social problems in Urban Bhutan. Housewives are often considered unproductive members of society as the nature of their work is unpaid and undocumented. Their expertise if given a platform can translate into manufacturing Healthy, tasty and affordable food products making them economically empowered.

BAOWE feels that through the Community Kitchen Project, an inclusive economic paradigm can be developed tapping into the nascent strengths of these ‘Hidden Entrepreneurs’.

The infrastructure will include facilities for manufacturing food products such as:

1. Cookies & donuts

2. Fried snacks

3. Dumplings

4. Noodles

5. Pickles, etc.

It will have a packaging, labeling and quality control unit and will provide capacity building and trainings.

House wives will access the Community Kitchen in two methods:

1. They bring their own ingredients and pay a nominal fee to use the facilities to manufacture their food items.

2. They form Self Help Groups (SHGs) manufacturing healthy, tasty and affordable commercial snacks.

The product will sell under the brand BAOWE _Pure adopting the method ‘Fountain Effect’ with the ‘Fairshare _Bhutan’ mark.

3. Due to uneconomic volumes farmers, mostly women are unable to find attractive markets and often result in seeing much of their ‘hardwork’ rotting in their fields.

4. Through this Project, farmers will get access to conducive platforms without the intervention of middle men.

This simple Project will have far reaching impact on:

1. Housewives who will now have access to economic freedom and enjoy social harmony.

2. Children will have healthy, tasty and affordable snacks.

3. Farmers will have a regular outlet enabling them to efficiently plan their farming activities including promoting naturally organic crops.

4. Reduce the import of packaged foods and its resulting plastic garbage.

5. Generate self employment and employment.

Sustainability of the project.

The Project is sustained through a simple mechanism that is incorporated in the following ways:

1. BAOWE _Pure

2. Fairshare _Bhutan adopting the Fountain Effect.

3. BAOWE_Pelzhing.


A registered brand belonging to BAOWE and includes the sale of food, beverages, herbs and dyes.

2.BAOWE Fairshare_Bhutan :

As a largely agrarian society with more than 80% of the population depending on agriculture, it is crucial that this group be brought into the fore front of economic planned activities. Small land holdings compounded with the lack of marketing networking systems often result in frustration for farmers unable to sell their produce often resulting in selling to middlemen. Gross returns from sales at farmers markets without middlemen generally are much higher than from sales to wholesalers and distributors. Small farmers can avoid the high costs associated with transportation of agricultural produce to the market.

BAOWE feels that the way forward is to encourage entrepreneurs to buy farmer’s produce preferably at market prices or, to arrive at an agreed price. After value addition, the entrepreneurs agree to plough back a percentage of net profit to the primary producers (farmers). Through adopting The ‘Fountain Effect’, they acquire the Fairshare _Bhutan mark.

The Fountain Effect is a method developed by Ms. Damchae Dem, CEO/Founder on behalf of BAOWE, whereby the aggregation of produce at the primary level, through the creation of Self Help Groups will create a competitive and reliable source of raw material supply to the entrepreneur also a registered member of BAOWE. The entrepreneur ploughs back a percentage from his/her net profit to the primary producers in a profit sharing module (Fair Share).

Importance of fair-share.

With Fair Trade, small-scale producers in developing countries receive good and stable prices and greater security. This makes a big difference to their lives. It can enable them to escape from poverty (Litvinoff & Madeley, 2007). According to Litvinoff and Madeley, 2007 in case of fair trade products are sold direct from co-operatives to manufacturers thereby cutting down and sometimes even removing the middlemen. Middlemen can play a useful role, but they often exploit farmers especially poor small scale farmers who lack in knowledge and market nuances.

Aims and objectives

1. Assist farmers in identifying markets through building networking systems adopting fair share.

2. Help primary farmers receive their fairshare (price) minimizing the involvement of middle men.

3. Ensuring profit sharing between Primary producers (farmers, etc) and Entrepreneurs.

3. BAOWE-Pelzhing (Micro Finance Institution)

Certified by Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), BAOWE-Pelzhing is a Micro Finance Institution with a difference.

It aims to:

a. Create a bridge between the Banks and Unbanked by providing services that are meaningful, cost effective and empowering.

b. Facilitate yet undiscovered entrepreneurs (marginalized members of society, unorganized sectors, single mothers and unemployed youth) through trainings and internship empowering and making them aware of their strengths thereby enabling them to make informed choices and become productive members of society.

c. Promote agri-business and address feminization of farms through digitization, introducing gender friendly modern faming appliances & technologies, building marketing networks that will not require women to travel long distances out of their areas of comfort but will infact bring the market to their homes.

d. Provide end to end mentorship and legal counseling to clients.

4.RORUM – Credit Cooperative:

A Small non-profit financial organization set up by street vendors and farmers in and around the country.

RORUM is basically a Financial Institution for the un-bankable population who have been unable to offer high collateral or are nervous and lack confidence to approach the Financial Institutions.

Marginalized members of society, unorganized sector, single mothers and unemployed youth constitute members of BAOWE & RORUM.

BAOWE’s Community Kitchen is a sustainable and unique venture which will directly impact more than 108 women and is projected to cost approximately 4,61,535 US.

The success of this Project will determine its establishment across the country.


Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

People of Bhutan

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

This simple Project will have far reaching impact on: 1. Housewives who will now have access to economic freedom and enjoy social harmony. 2. Children will have healthy, tasty and affordable snacks. 3. Farmers will have a regular outlet enabling them to efficiently plan their farming activities including promoting naturally organic crops. 4. Reduce the import of packaged foods and its resulting plastic garbage. 5. Generate self employment and employment.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

1. Raw material is available within the country 2. generation of employment and self employment. 3. Replacing imported unhealthy snacks with healthy, tasty and affordable snacks supplied to Bhutanese people mostly youth. 4.contributes to lessening environmental population (plastic packaging). 5.Inclusive business module, (kindly refer *Fountain effect, Fairshare_Bhutan, etc. http://www.baowe.org/register/)

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Through years of working with marginalized members of society mostly single mothers, and unemployed youth, BAOWE has gained the trust and confidence of our members and society at large. BAOWE's Projects addressing both Urban and Rural poverty has resulted in our receiving the nation's highest award from His Majesty the King along with 23 CSOs . BAOWE will create Self Help Groups imparting trainings, building capacity and provide a conducive gender friendly manufacturing infrastructure. It will also capitalize on its existing networking capacity to sell the products efficiently. Established in 2010 , our membership grows exponentially which is the biggest indicator that BAOWE delivers Effectively, Efficiently and Economically.