70 percent of Pakistan’s population is under 30. The country is facing a demographic youth bulge, which presents a fertile ground for developing human talent. In order to ensure a more stable future of the country, there is a strong need to offer quality education, build managerial capacity and conduct skills training.
Currently, businesses in urban areas are still fraught with severe corporate governance issues, political disputes and contractual obligations. In addition to that, religious tensions mainly in rural areas create political activism. This combined with frequent policy changes resulted in dampened ambitions and entrepreneurial actions, which is why it is crucial to re-engage entrepreneurs in Pakistan and start this process by harnessing the skill-sets of the youth.
The issue of unleashing the innovation potential of Pakistan’s social entrepreneurs is further explored in a report called Social Enterprise in Pakistan: Unlocking Innovation Through Enterprise Incubation, published by the Economic Policy Group earlier this month.
The report suggests the establishment of incubator hubs in business schools to promote knowledge sharing and networking. Further, it claims that there is an urgent need for new policy frameworks to facilitate social innovation and leverage Pakistan’s home-grown capacity in the global economy.
In this context both public and private investors can play a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem of enterprises and hence unlocking the full potential of Pakistan’s young social entrepreneurs. Both sectors’ investment in human talent as well as the development of new institutions will allow for a dynamic movement where entrepreneurial individuals are encouraged to take action and enable change.
In order for this to happen, the report makes clear that both investor confidence and entrepreneurial confidence have to rise. This change of mindsets can be achieved through training programs, mentorship and education in combination with a stable, enabling environment.
To allow for a successful socio-economic development of Pakistan, it is also crucial that there exists a careful due diligence of operating entrepreneurs as well as an understanding of the social fabric within urban and rural settings. Only then will the newly educated class be able to take full advantage of the opportunities arising from business incubator hubs and those at the Bottom of the Pyramid receive benefits of financial inclusion.
The reports finishes by pointing out that this is the perfect time to create a knowledge economy around the social innovation movement in Pakistan as there currently exists optimism within internal policy circles as well as the international community on Pakistan’s ability to catalyse enduring change in its economy.
You can find the full report with all its findings and suggestions here >>