Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrated at ICCI

Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with the Center for International Private Enterprise and Kauffman Foundation organized a two days conference to celebrate the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013. The theme of the event was “Business Incubation in Pakistan”.

A large number of incubatees as well as representatives of business incubation centers of Quaid-e-Azam, Iqra COMSATS & NUST universities and students attended the conference. The event provided a good platform to incubatees and incubators to exchange views and share ideas on further improving the business incubators culture in Pakistan.

Addressing the participants, Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that our youth possess immense potential and talent that must be exploited with right policies for the economic development of the country. Developing an entrepreneurial eco-system is the best option to put Pakistan on fast track economic growth. He said youth has shown great interest towards entrepreneurship, however, they need supportive environment to start businesses and unleash their potential for making Pakistan a thriving economy.

He emphasized that government should develop a comprehensive strategy and earmark a dedicated fund to facilitate and encourage a network of business incubation centers in the country equipped with all modern equipments and facilities to stimulate the growth of new businesses. It will lead to creation of more jobs, commercialization of new business ideas & technologies, promotion of better image of country and strengthening the overall economy.

He lauded the role of young entrepreneurs who have chosen this career not only to improve their own lives but also to provide jobs to others. He was of the view that with the help of their innovative ideas and forward looking approach, they would make useful contribution to improving the economy and assured that their problems would be highlighted at relevant forums for redress.

Mr. Hammad Siddiqui, Deputy Country director, CIPE highlighted the role of CIPE in promoting entrepreneurship and said that CIPE has been actively engaged with chambers and associations to promote entrepreneurial culture in Pakistan. By organizing such events, CIPE has been highlighting the untold success stories of promising entrepreneurs in the country.

The incubatees highlighted many issues in starting up new businesses. Lack of financing & venture capital, insufficient mentorship facilities, lack of business plans and online payment facility, unawareness about available business incubation centers, lack of collaboration between universities and incubation centers, gap between stakeholders, image of Pakistan etc. were termed as the main impediments in the way of starting new business ventures and it was stressed that government should address these issues on priority to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship development.