Social Entrepreneurship

Dolpo Artist

Income Generation and Cultural Renaissance

One of the most exciting areas for positive social and economic change is social entrepreneurship. DROKPA's Social Entrepreneurs Program provides seed grants to dynamic individuals and innovative organizations to foster economic and cultural renaissance in the Himalaya and Central Asia. DROKPA's Social Entrepreneurs Program helps people with good ideas connect to the resources they need to adapt and thrive.

For example, DROKPA is helping to support the Dolpo Artists' Cooperative, an organization that trains apprentices under the guidance of a master painter, and sells handmade items of high artistic value. Tibetan art is commercially viable today, even as it remains an important aspect of traditional life. However, adept teachers and practitioners struggle to survive in the remote mountain communities where these aesthetic and spiritual traditions were developed and refined.

DROKPA is also helping to support the Bhutan Cultural Preservation Project, which aims to document major cultural and transitional events in Bhutanese life, based on the specific traditions of the various sub-groups that make up Bhutan.

In 2004, DROKPA initiated support for a new income generation and poverty alleviation project in a nomadic community in central Tibet. At the initiative of one of the senior monks at Lhasa's Jokhang temple, and with the support of the Jokhang's manager, in 2004 DROKPA provided a small grant of $1000 (renewable for 2-3 years) to help a nomadic community in Damshung, Lhasa Prefecture, TAR, create a rotating fund to help the poorest members of the community. The funds granted by DROKPA provided these families with sheep. This initial infusions of capital, in the form of livestock, will not only help improve the economic situations of local families, but also that it will set a precedent for further rotational community assistance, as well as collaboration between an elite Lhasa-based institution and a rural Tibetan community.