KARACHI: Pakistan’s social entrepreneurship eco-system still requires dedicated investors and knowledge base to grow socially responsible businesses and contribute to youth employment; this was the main focus of speakers at the University town hall on “Social Entrepreneurship: Breaking Glass Ceilings” held at the Karachi School of Business and Leadership on Thursday by Jinnah Institute and KSBL.
Starting the dialogue, Nadeem Hussain said that socially sustainable enterprises in Pakistan still need strengthening of the eco-system, investors and mentors to support young men and women that want to start businesses targeting service provision for the poor in Pakistan. He added that unfortunately even today, most loans are going to old businesses instead of supporting new business ideas of the youth cohort. He said that it was unfortunate that universities in Pakistan focused on creating business managers rather than business owners. Asad Jafri added that ACUMEN is one such platform which invests in leaders that serve the bottom of pyramid.
Saddafe Abid from CIRCLE shared her experience of starting one of Pakistan’s largest socially sustainable microfinance institutions and shared with university students her work in supporting women entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Faraz Khan said that unlike the west, entrepreneurship was not discussed at homes and in schools in Pakistan. He said that one of the most important challenges here, was to make discussions on entrepreneurship common at homes and in universities.
Uzma Khan from INJAAZ said that the need of the hour was to focus on developing livelihoods which also help communities. She added that mentorship played a key role in polishing business ideas and providing support to young entrepreneurs.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Iqbal Tahir, Registrar, Karachi School of Business & Leadership spoke about the success and salient features of KSBL’s MBA program and shared the vision of KSBL to become the leading business school in Pakistan. The session was attended by a vast array of young professionals, alumni of KSBL’s MBA program, and students from various local universities.
This is Jinnah Institute’s second University Town Hall under the Open Democracy Initiative. The Town Hall series will bring Pakistan’s top analysts and academics to universities for interactive dialogues on pressing challenges facing youth in society.