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Promoting entrepreneurial growth in

Pakistan
Posted by Mishal Pakistan in News Updates | 0 comments

Entrepreneurs seek Government support for creating an enabling environment fostering entrepreneurial
culture.

Celebrating the Global Entrepreneurship Week, twenty prominent Pakistani


entrepreneurs, government officials and academic leaders gathered at a
round-table meeting on Creating an Enabling Environment for
Entrepreneurship to Grow in Islamabad today. Panellists explored ways to
promote entrepreneurial growth in Pakistan, emphasizing that
entrepreneurs have the potential to create solutions that can transform
Pakistan and generate new jobs for millions of young graduates entering
the workforce.
The event culminates Global Entrepreneurship Week and follows six days
of workshops for emerging Pakistani entrepreneurs on how to start and
grow a successful business. The workshops were facilitated by the U.S.
Embassy in Islamabad and held at Abasyn University from November 10 to
15.
After avoiding the collapse of the global financial and economic system,
governments around the world are now focused on building a foundation
for future growth. In addition to safeguarding the economic recovery, the
world is facing a number of transformative challenges, such as an
increasing scarcity of natural resources, significant demographic shifts, and
the environmental and social implications of climate change.
In dealing with these challenges, governments have taken an increasingly
strong interest in entrepreneurship. Speaking on the occasion, Amir
Jahangir, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and CEO
Mishal Pakistan, said Entrepreneurs are recognized as important drivers of
economic and social progress, and rapidly growing entrepreneurial
enterprises are viewed as important sources of innovation, employment
and productivity growth. Some of the most influential enterprises of our
time began relatively recently as small entrepreneurial ventures, he further
added.
The participants emphasized the need for the capacity building of the
media on creating Entrepreneurship as a new beat in Pakistan. They

emphasized the importance of a media fund, which can encourage young


entrepreneurs and journalists to create more relevant content on
entrepreneurship. The initiative would also be able to create a new breed of
mediapreneurs and journalists to understand and report on the
opportunities and challenges of being an entrepreneur in Pakistan.
Speaking about Global Entrepreneurship Week, Muhammad Farrukh
Mahmood, co-founder of Moftak Solutions, said, We are thankful to the
U.S. Embassy for giving us the opportunity to hear from Pakistans leading
entrepreneurs about the challenges they face in starting and running a
business. The workshops this week helped to bridge the gap between
industry and academia, and inspired youth to become entrepreneurs to
contribute to the growth of this country.
Many recent public discussions have addressed the challenges that
entrepreneurs face in Pakistan. The roundtable moved the discussion to
the next level by developing a concrete set of recommendations to the
Government of Pakistan on how to overcome the challenges and improve
the business environment in Pakistan.
Panellists focused their discussions on the pivotal role of Pakistans private
sector in spurring job creation. Were an entrepreneurship ecosystem to
take root, panellists said, Pakistans economic growth could accelerate.
Many governments are therefore trying to actively promote
entrepreneurship through various forms of support. The World Economic
Forum has been actively engaging early-stage and later-stage high-growth
companies for many years through its Technology Pioneers programme
and its community of Global Growth Companies.

Role of entrepreneurship in economic


growth
Business entrepreneurs play a key role in promoting the economic
growth and social dynamism of states, whether developed or
developing.

By floating new companies, they not only create most of the new
jobs but also contribute toinnovations that promote human
welfare.
While the link between entrepreneurship and economic growth is
well-established, but when academicians, officials, analysts and
commentators discuss business and commerce, they
invariably mean big business enterprises. Though big business is
imperative to the financial health of nations, mega companies are
not essentially the only source of innovation that makes an
economy to grow.
Economic growth does not just entail producing extensive
products and services, it also means better and cheaper products
and services and an overall improved quality of
life. Pharmaceutical companiesoffer a good example: they
continue to contribute substantially to the increase in life
expectancy by discovering, manufacturing and marketing new
drugs.
The moving spirits behind
these innovations are entrepreneurs who set-up and start
new companies as one of the essential functions of investors.
They establish new companies as vehicles for introducing and
promoting innovations. If successful, those companies grow,
eventually giving a boost to the economy of their nation. In other
words, when business enterprises grow, the economy grows;
andentrepreneurs are drivers who steer the firms towards growth.
Only a small number of new and young companies, of course,
succeed in creating jobs and growing into larger firms. But, once
entrepreneurial companies turn into larger firms, they often start
blockinginnovation and the emergence of next generation of
firms. This is a dilemma that has continued to confront
policymakers, economists and corporate leaders for almost a
century, with no resolution in sight.
Political leaders and policymakers must remember that the
cluttered process of starting firms, competing, failing and growing
is absolutely essential to achieving economic growth. But, scale

and growth, and their underlying corollaries of failure and


shrinkage can only be achieved through this chaotic process. Both
public and private institutions, including large corporations and
universities, need this process to continue and proceed, accepting
that it cannot be dictated or controlled. Rather, it can only be
supported and promoted.
Currently, many organisations, including Kauffman Foundation
and TiE, are engaged in a wide range of research on
entrepreneurship and they also operate and organise a number of
programmes aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs preparing
students at all levels for launching new business ventures and
guiding them towards success in an entrepreneurial
economy, according to Dr. Imran Ghaznavi, Advisor, Advocacy &
Outreach, Planning Commission of Pakistan. Kauffman Foundation
was founded by a philanthropist and successful entrepreneur,
Ewing Kauffman, who earned fame by establishing
apharmaceutical company and creating thousands of jobs
and innovations.
TiE was founded, in 1992, in Silicon Valley, by a group of
successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives and professionals
with roots in the Indus region to foster entrepreneurship through
educating, mentoring and networking. Dedicated to various cycles
of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiEs focus
is to generate and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.
This global powerhouse claims to have helped hundreds
of companies to launch their business and generated over $200
billion in venture capital, a figure that even surpasses the GDP of
some countries.
In Pakistan, in addition to provincial capitals, TiE has one of its
chapters in Islamabad, which was inaugurated by the Prime
Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in June 2008. Each chapter of TiE
organises programmes and conferences, every year, to promote
and encourage the concept of entrepreneurship and the crucial
role that they can play in leading the country towards progress,
growth and prosperity, says Imtiaz Rastgar, one of the founding
members of TiE Islamabad and Chairman of the Rastgar Group,
which is one of the top exporters of auto-parts from Pakistan.

While addressing a TiE conference, recently held in Islamabad,


Hussain Dawood, Chairman of the Dawood Group of Industries
stated that if Pakistan has to come out of its economic difficulties,
the citizens have to act as engines of growth, organising and
running their business enterprises on ethical lines. As the
countrys education system has become decadent, he asked the citizens to take
the education system into their own hands, if they want the country to make rapid progress
and achieve economic prosperity.