CIPE Pakistan joined the global community in celebrating the Global Entrepreneurship Week. This year, CIPE’s Pakistan office invited 70 Universities and 140 Chambers and Associations to celebrate GEW. In addition to a number of activities during the week, CIPE Pakistan engaged entrepreneurs and bloggers in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad to share untold entrepreneurial stories online. As a result of this initiative, 43 untold entrepreneurial stories were published.
Following are links of some of these stories:
- Saba Khan shared, “Sweet Dreams”
- Zehra Naqvi wrote, “Female Touch in Wood Carving”
- Mehar-un-Nisa`s work, “ Ashraf Chaudhry, a success story”
- Ammar Javed wrote, “Exploring Pakistani Entrepreneurs”
- Story from Hina Khan, “How did she deal with Entrepreneurship Challenges – Meet Masooma Sibtain”
- Irfan Elahi shared his work “Untold Story of Women Entrepreneurs in Pakistan – Mrs. Alia M Khan”
- Wajeeha Azam wrote, “Lost in the blend of colors? Think RED!!”
- Naseema Parveen shared her work, “Meet Atif Abdul Majeed-Fulbright Scholar who introduces Automatic voting systems in Pakistan”
- Imran Hunzai interviewed and shared, “Meet Rohaan Qadri – the guy behind Calzolaio Handmade Shoes”
CIPE Pakistan, in cooperation with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, also organized a mini-conference entitled “The Role of Business Incubators in Promoting Entrepreneurship.” Speaking at the event, Shaban Khalid, President of ICCI, said, “Developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem is the best option to put Pakistan on fast track economic growth.” He said youth has shown great interest towards entrepreneurship, however, they need a supportive environment to start businesses and unleash their potential for making Pakistan a thriving economy.
This event was first ever interaction between three major university incubators in Islamabad and also helped create a network of the companies being incubated. Participants deliberated on the subject and as a result the following policy recommendations were drafted for Islamabad Chamber to present to government ministries:
- The Higher Education Commission should promote mentorship programs and inter-incubator and university collaboration for building a strong network of these incubators across Pakistan.
- The State Bank of Pakistan should allow online payment systems in Pakistan.
- Incubators should engage with angel networks, venture capital companies, and Chambers to interact with incubating companies.
- The government should revive the National ICT R&D Fund and appoint a full-time CEO.
- Incubators should have places to arrange meetings and discussions.
- The Higher Education Commission should help incubators in their internal capacity building.
- Universities should promote their incubators by adding a link to their respective websites and by providing an online list of companies being incubated.
The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has also agreed to host a quarterly meeting of incubators in the Islamabad region to provide them a platform for networking and taking these recommendations forward for policy reform.
Written jointly by Hammad Siddiqui, Deputy Country Director at CIPE Pakistan and Talib Uz Zaman, Program Officer at CIPE Pakistan