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Social Enterprise Clinic

The Social Enterprise Clinic (SEC) is designed for students who see themselves entering Bhutan’s emerging transactional and corporate practice. It is focused on cottage industries, small and medium-sized businesses, and cooperatives. 

Social Enterprise Clinic refuse to accept that ‘business is war,’ and invite our students to engage their legal skills and creativity towards helping idealistic and socially minded entrepreneurs build sustainable business models in communities across Bhutan.

Students

Students in the SEC will continue the journey they began in the Corporate Law course (and to a lesser extent also their Contracts and Property courses). They will hone their skills as legal consultants and advisors to small business entrepreneurs, many of whom are savvy businesspersons but largely unaware of the legal and administrative risks they may face as businesspersons. Students work as consultants and as lawyers, working to understand and help refine business models, and then subsequently drafting legal strategies and documents in accordance with that vision.

Project Work

SEC students work with Bhutanese small business entrepreneurs to help them realize their dreams. Students can help clients with their organizational and transactional (O&T) legal needs but can also work with them to help refine and focus their business plans on what really matters to them as business entrepreneurs.

Students also work with policy makers on efforts to make Bhutan a more conducive environment for small business entrepreneurs.

JSW School of Law’s Social Enterprise Clinic is initiating a legal programme to protect Traditional knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) and to give students hands–on experience in intellectual property. The programme is supported by a grant and pro bono assistance from international law firm, Simmons & Simmons.The programme will engage students in a number of activities, including raising of public awareness across the country regarding legal protections for TK and TCEs and working with selected groups of traditional Practitioners to secure legal recognition and protection for their work.As a first step, on 27th May, 2022, Social Enterprise Clinic has organized a consultative workshop to discuss various legal and social questions associated with this programme. Students were involved to present their research work on various topics concerning the protection of “Kishuthara” followed by discussion with the stakeholders. We had officials from several relevant organizations, including dept.of intellectual property attending the workshop.

Bhutan Blossoms and Balana Community Business Project

Bhutan Blossoms in collaboration with the Balana Community Business Project has approached JSW School of Law’s Social Enterprise Clinic to assist the legal documentation of the formation of the farmers group and to research the government lease land laws under the reserved forest and assist with the legal documentation.

The SEC students drafted the constitution/by-laws for the Balana Community Business project, business proposal and further did research on the government land lease land under the reserved forest under the Jigme Dorji National Park. The student also prepared a legal documentation and submitted a way forward report to the Client. 

Bhutan Youth Development Fund Social Enterprise Committee

The Bhutan Youth Development Fund was founded in 1999 through the Royal Charter (Kasho). In keeping with the objectives of the Kasho to ensure sustainability and self-reliance of youth development programs, YDF embarked on the journey of social enterprise in 2015, with the establishment of its first social enterprise, the Waste Paper Recycling Unit. To efficiently manage and operate all existing and upcoming YDF social enterprises, it was deemed necessary to integrate all social enterprises under an independent governance structure within the existing organizational framework of YDF. Accordingly, the Social Enterprise Committee was established by the YDF Board of Directors on 6th December, 2021.  The Social Enterprise Clinic reviewed the constitution of the YDF which is their Article of Association and Memorandum of Association and drafted the new governance documents (MoA & AoA) of the Client to incorporate the agreed new structure. The SEC also drafted the Terms of Reference for the new social enterprise governance structure which has been appreciated by the Board of directors for the quality of work by the students.

Druk Metho Project

The Social Enterprise Clinic in partnership with Druk Metho (name changed to Bhutan Blossoms) has worked since the inception of the business. Druk Metho is structured like a regular for-profit company, currently registered as a sole proprietorship, and scheduled eventually to develop into a private limited company. No similar corporate structure exists in Bhutan or elsewhere. The benefits of this profit-sharing model, however, are apparent, in that the incentives of both Druk Metho as well as the Farmers Group are aligned, and the profits generated by Druk Metho flow directly to the community.

The Druk Metho project was featured by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan as a model to emulate across the country and encouraged Dzongkhag and national officials to look for similar governance features when deciding how to allocate the substantial sums of development funds available under the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023).

Wangsel Market Garden Project

Wangsel Market Garden (WMG) is a registered Farmers Group which has been founded by ten enthusiastic members of the deaf community in Bhutan. The project is working to establish a value-chain production and distribution of organic vegetables, herbs and spices. 

JSW School of Law’s Social Enterprise Clinic is providing support to the Farmers group by helping draft bylaws for the group, drafting project plan, and supporting the farmers group to seek land lease from the government. 

Nazhoen Lamtoen

Nazhoen Lamtoen is a Civil Society Organization which works with children in conflict with law (CICL) and children in difficult circumstances (CIDC). Nazhoen Lamtoen provides aftercare support to children in conflict with law to help reintegrate them into society by providing support for livelihood.

SEC drafted the concept business notes in consultation with the Nazhoen Lamtoen for their newly acquired lease land which will be used for providing opportunities for the CICL as well as help with the sustainability of the CSO. 

“Bhutan Blossoms (Druk Metho) was founded with a vision to solve social and environmental issues that our society is faced with. We would like to thank the faculties and students of the Social Enterprise Clinic (SEC) of the JSW School of Law for supporting the project pro-bono, in the legal and various other fields since the project was founded.”

Thinley Namgay

The Founder of Bhutan Blossoms