Tag Archives: social entrepreneurship pakistan

Social Enterprise in Pakistan: Unlocking Innovation Through Enterprise Incubation


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.


Report Findings

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 >>



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Leading Social Entrepreneurs of Pakistan: The Unsung Heroes (Iqbal M. Khan)

In his book, Khan introduces 92 entrepreneurs, their ventures and the inspiration and motivation behind their actions. All these individuals were able to make a lasting impact on Pakistan’s social economy and infrastructure.

The book is split into nine sections, starting off with a general overview of the book. This introduction is followed by more specific areas of social entrepreneurship namely education, health, children development, micro finance, community development, environment & heritage conservation, human rights, gender issues and women empowerment.

The Unsung Heroes provides a detailed description of the lives of each of the 92 social entrepreneurs. Their successes are analysed and readers are encouraged to acknowledge their contribution to the lives of people in Pakistan. The author believes that presenting socially engaged individuals and their successful ventures can inspire others to improve their lives and the lives of those around them as well. Khan also urges young people not to be deterred by the social challenges facing their country but to take action and find innovative ways to improve living conditions.

While the book only focuses on the social entrepreneurship scene in Pakistan, it provides several learnings about social entrepreneurship in general and is a very interesting read!


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Naya Jeevan: Pakistan’s #1 Social Enterprise in 2011

TC-P’s Pakistan’s Top Social Enterprises in 2011 survey found that Naya Jeevan is the country’s top social enterprise. Naya Jeevan is headquartered in Karachi and provides low-income families with affordable access to quality, catastrophic healthcare through their unique micro-insurance program.

The company offers its insurance program in Pakistan at subsidised rates under a novel national group health insurance model underwritten by Allianz-EFU, IGI Insurance and AsiaCare. Naya Jeevan works in collaboration with corporate, academic and non-profit institutions in order to catalyse a wave of social responsibility that can then be leveraged to realise a positive sustainable outcome for all stakeholders.

2011 has been a very successful year for Naya Jeevan as the company was able to quadruple its number of beneficiaries. The total number of beneficiaries currently enrolled in the health plan is 15,300 and clients that came on board in 2011 include:

  • Pakistan International Container Terminal Limited
  • Alucan Pakistan (Pvt), Alu Pak Pakistan (Pvt)
  • Philip Morris
  • HRSG Outsourcing
  • Philips Pakistan
  • CinePax (Box Office)
  • FM 91
  • Abu Dawood Trading Co, Pakistan
  • Indus Pharma
  • DHA Services

“Artpreneurs for Change”

Naya Jeevan also launched an initiative called “Artpreneurs for Change” which aims at helping children with disabilities enrol in the Naya Jeeva managed care health plan. The initiative is a collaborative effort between NOWPDP (Network of Organisations Working With People With Disabilities in Pakistan), Fulbright Alumni, Art Therapists and Naya Jeevan itself. Seed funding for the project was given by the US State Department as part of the first ever Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. The initiative will provide art therapy classes in three schools for children with disabilities and use auction proceeds from the resulting artwork to raise funds and awareness for the healthcare of the affected children.

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