Looking Back on Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan

Our Youth is highly motivated, unaware, lacks counseling and guidance. Do not have access to information and available opportunities. Participating Entrepreneurs including some from Pakistan’s top 100 have agreed to provide mentoring, office space and training for start-ups and pool in some sort of seed fund. GEW provided an opportunity to bridge gap between aspiring entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. Now we have a roadmap to tackle the issue of low entrepreneurial activity in Pakistan.  (Kashif M. Khan / President / Global Entrepreneurship Week- Pakistan Initiative of Kauffman Foundation)

Global Entrepreneurship Week was never celebrated in Pakistan in a big way. Only last year, the Center for International Private Enterprise organized two major events in Karachi and Islamabad by engaging university students in a debate on “What it takes to be an Entrepreneur.” The Islamabad event was organized in partnership with Young Entrepreneur’s Forum at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Throughout the year, the CIPE Pakistan team continued speaking about GEW in meetings with partners and at networking events. As a result, this year there were at least 20 events were organized in the country. Most of these events were initiated by the Kaufman Foundation (supported by the U.S. Embassy) and CIPE. It is hoped that from two events to 20 in one year will create a chain reaction, and GEW 2013 will be celebrated with even more enthusiasm.

I would like to talk about CIPE events and what did we do differently. First of all, CIPE events were organized in partnership with local non-profit organizations. This resulted in improving partners’ understanding about the issues related to low entrepreneurial activity in Pakistan, as well as building their capacity to conduct such programs independently in the following years.

The next significant aspect of the CIPE activities was the design in which, rather than listening to a panel of experts, participants shared their ideas on entrepreneurial issues and possible solutions for Pakistan.

CIPE also encouraged teachers from various universities to attend and listen to what their students had to say on the improvement of teaching styles and the entrepreneurship curriculum.  One of the most interesting events, in Peshawar, was organized in partnership with the Peshawar Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry and focused on the choice of an entrepreneurial career by girls living in Northern Pakistan.

To spread the word on social media, CIPE created a unique hashtag #GEWPK. In addition to photo sharing on Facebook, CIPE events were tweeted live and in addition to coverage in local media, a number of bloggers covered the events, including:

Fahmina Arshad

Zainab Khawaja

Ali Suleman

BSO Forum

Ahsan Umar

CIPE hopes that partners will continue momentum started during GEW and that next year there will be more independent events across the country.

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