In September, 2005, after more than a year of planning and preparation, the small business development team of The Bridge Fund (TBF) succeeded in establishing a unique and innovative one-year business training program, specifically geared for managers of Tibetan owned enterprises, and the first of its kind in China. The training was the result of extensive research that spanned over two years, and entailed frequent coordination among TBF staff in three regional offices to select qualified trainees from all over the Tibetan plateau. It also involved close collaboration with trainers and the host school, to design a curriculum that would meet the needs of both trainees and sponsoring businesses. Sponsors agreed to guarantee jobs for trainees upon successful completion of the program, and shared the cost of trainees’ expenses.
In the first month of the second semester, the first signs of fruition became evident, when the trainees began attending a class on leadership for 6 hours each week. Because neither the Chinese nor Tibetan education that they received previously had covered concepts of leadership, this course opened their eyes to completely new and inspiring ideas. Realizing that Tibetans lack access to literature like the leadership textbook used in the course, they decided as a group to translate the textbook into Tibetan language voluntarily, in their spare time. At the end of the semester, they presented the translated text to The Bridge Fund, with the hope that it be published and distributed to schools and businesses across the Tibetan plateau.