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The entrepreneurship solution
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The entrepreneurship solution

Too many young people including graduates are without jobs globally, writes 26-year-old Ahmed Umer Sohaib  from  Lahore, Pakistan. He argues that with entrepreneurship being an answer to unemployment, Pakistan still needs to do more to support its development.

The global unemployment rate may be stabilizing but it is still very high, with many countries still unable to provide employment for young people including graduates with degrees. This level of unemployment has paved way for despondency among youth.

It has however also opened new corridors of employment in the form of entrepreneurship. Developed countries like the United States, Canada, Norway, and Japan have been putting their support behind youth entrepreneurship and this is in turn contributing to the economic development of these countries.

Entrepreneurs are people who take risks with the aim of developing innovative products and services that create value and profits. By 2000, new trends like knowledge, political, and social entrepreneurship were also emerging as options for unemployed young people. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, in the United States, it is now common for citizens to pursue  new ideas in the form of a business initiative.

It has taken time for the significance and viability of entrepreneurship to take root in Pakistan, however it is now growing in our big cities. Due to the low salaries in conventional jobs and the buzz of entrepreneurial activity, more young people are choosing this route to provide for themselves and their families.One pivotal factor that is propelling entrepreneurial activity in Pakistan is the large pool of youth studying in universities who are graduating and choosing the entrepreneurship route. There are more than 700 startups currently running in Pakistan.

While entrepreneurship is becoming a good source for new jobs, it will take more than young people with good ideas to make entrepreneurship the answer to youth unemployment in Pakistan, it will also require adequate access to markets, incubation centers, and resources like money and mentorship as well.A number of incubation centers, like the LUMS Centre of Entrepreneurship, Plan 9, NUST TIC, SMEDA, and Cloud 9 are successfully incubating, mentoring and funding startups in Pakistan.

Given that their resources are already stretched, governments by themselves cannot provide the support needed to propel startups to the levels needed.Players from both the private and government sectors will need to support the development of startups just as major corporations like Coca Cola, Engro, Unilever and Mobilink are directly and indirectly doing in Pakistan.

Despite these positives however, more still needs to be done, if entrepreneurship is to provide the number of jobs needed for young people. For example, Pakistan needs venture capitalists that provide funding to early stage ventures. In the USA thousands of  entrepreneurs with feasible business plans receive investments to help to get their businesses off the ground.This is the direction in which Pakistan needs to move.

Another important step that’s needed is for Pakistani women to be encouraged into entrepreneurship. They constitute 49% of our total population but make up only  (22.7%) of  Pakistan’s labour force when compared to men  who make up  84%. By starting small businesses and skill – based startups, women can substantially contribute to Pakistan’s economy and the improvement of their own lives.

Finally, universities also need to update their curriculum so that students  learn the  fundamentals of entrepreneurship whether through creating entire modules and new courses or including a few credit hours in every course – whatever the discipline.

Pakistan already has a place on the map as a global tech eco-system, thanks in part to the mushrooming growth in e-commerce fueled by the penetration of the internet. In order to strengthen this eco-system and address Pakistan’s faltering economic progress,further investment in entrepreneurship is vital – bearing in mind that a successful future will be creativity-driven, not knowledge or experience-driven, and will certainly call for independent thinkers.

Photo credit: Pixabay (license)
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About me:

I am a passionate writer, a scientific researcher and an eloquent speaker from Lahore, Pakistan.I have served as Head of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in  the Youth Parliament Pakistan. I am a true democrat with an aptitude of formulating policies through rational debates. I volunteer in social work and write for Pakistan’s top notch newspapers.Currently, I am serving as a lecturer in Superior University Lahore where I teach and inspire students to reach for their goals.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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