‘Entrepreneurs have potential to generate
Panelists of a round table conference explored ways to promote entrepreneurial growth in
Pakistan, emphasizing that entrepreneurs have the potential to generate new jobs for
millions of young graduates entering the workforce.
The event “Global Entrepreneurship Week” followed six days of workshops for emerging
Pakistani entrepreneurs on how to start and grow a successful business. The workshops
were facilitated by the United States (US) Embassy in Islamabad and held at Abasyn
University from November 10 to 15.
Fifteen prominent Pakistani entrepreneurs, government officials and academic leaders
gathered at a roundtable meeting titled “Creating an Enabling Environment for
Entrepreneurship to Grow” on Friday.
After avoiding the collapse of the global financial and economic system, governments
around the world were now focused on building a foundation for future growth. In addition to
safeguarding the economic recovery, the world was facing a number of transformative
challenges, such as an increasing scarcity of natural resources, significant demographic
shifts, and the environmental and social implications of climate change.
In dealing with these challenges, governments had taken an increasingly strong interest in
Speaking on the occasion, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and CEO
(chief executive officer) Mishal Pakistan, Amir Jahangir said, “Entrepreneurs are recognized
as important drivers of economic and social progress, and rapidly growing entrepreneurial
enterprises are viewed as important sources of innovation, employment and productivity
Some of the most influential enterprises of our time began relatively recently as small
entrepreneurial ventures, he further added.
The participants emphasized the need for the capacity building of the Pakistani media to
introduce entrepreneurship as a new beat in reporting. They emphasized the importance of
a media fund, which could encourage young entrepreneurs and journalists to create more
relevant content on entrepreneurship. The initiative would also be able to create a new
breed of “mediapreneurs” and journalists to understand and report on the opportunities and
challenges of being an entrepreneur in Pakistan.
Speaking about “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, co-founder of Moftak Solutions,
Muhammad Farukh Mahmood said, “We are thankful to the U.S. Embassy for giving us the
opportunity to hear from Pakistan’s leading entrepreneurs about the challenges they face in
starting and running a business. The workshops this week helped to bridge the gap
between industry and academia, and inspired youth to become entrepreneurs to contribute
to the growth of this country.”
Panelists focused their discussions on the pivotal role of Pakistan’s private sector in
spurring job creation. The panelists said with the growth of entrepreneurship ecosystem,
Pakistan’s economic growth could accelerate.
Many governments were therefore trying to actively promote entrepreneurship through
various forms of support. The World Economic Forum had been actively engaging earlystage and later-stage high-growth companies for many years through its Technology
Pioneers programme and its community of Global Growth Companies
Entrepreneurship in Pakistan
Entrepreneurship is viewed by economists to be a combination of innovation and risk taking.
When such activity thrives, high growth rates are achieved as well as opportunities offered
to all of society, including the poor. They offer benefits through growth and employment. In
Pakistan, innovation and risk taking is severely inhibited by the intrusive role of government
of country. From the starting days of strategy, when protection and subsidy policies
determine winners in the market, entrepreneurship has been diverted to government
favours. Government’s economic policy is also seeking to promote growth through a
basically ‘mercantilist’ approach where local commerce through serious neglect is
regulated. This sector either employees most of the poor or offers them entrepreneurial
opportunities although deregulating this sector could be a priority in and anti-poor planning.
To development of an entrepreneurship culture in the Pakistan, the system of laws and
policies that are promoting it will have to be dismantled. Entrepreneurship development as a
conscious mechanism in Pakistan is a recent post-colonial phenomenon. This has been an
exciting period in which international aid was sought with the purpose of achieving
economic development. The international networking of research with fledgling local
counterparts dedicated themselves to developing policy instruments for delivering this noble
purpose. Sadly, even after 60 years poverty persists and other countries, like Pakistan, are
caught in poverty.
Entrepreneur growth requires institutes prerequisite which underpin human transactions.
Those prerequisite are those that human civilization has evolved over the many years.
Economical aid is working only where the policies and institutional environment is good.
This again lends support to the ‘primacy of institutional’ arguments. A society that gets the
institutional set up described above goes on to achieve economic development.
Entrepreneurship may be directed towards the accumulation of wealth through unproductive
enterprise. The system of incentives that a country sets up in its governance mechanism
can either promote healthy entrepreneurship leading to economic growth and prosperity or
rent seeking where productive activities are at a discount. In the latter case, a society gets
stuck in a low poverty-low growth trap.
In Pakistan, the policies have always been biased towards the high class of country. This is
true of the economical policies which have been biased towards the high scale sector.
Rather than entrepreneurship, policies are planned for investors and investments became
the norm. Incentives were offered to attract investment. Such incentives included licensed
monopolies in protected markets, cheap land and credit and subsidised inputs.
Promoting entrepreneurship has its own importance. According to Global Entrepreneurship
Monitor’s 2010 report, Pakistan lags in start-ups, with less than half the rate of early-stage
entrepreneurial activity found in other factor-driven economies. Part of the problem is that
most young people coming out of universities prefer searching for a job instead of exploring
entrepreneurial career opportunities – one of the key findings of CIPE-P@SHA dialogue
with students and start-ups. Even young people who choose to enter paid employment
often have trouble finding a job, are badly paid, or wind up in casual or informal jobs,
according to the World Bank.
To help encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit among youngsters, the Islamabad
Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently organised a major conference for young
entrepreneurs focusing on the theme of “Inspiring a New Wave of Entrepreneurship,” part of
the Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum. Established in 2008, the goal of the Forum is to
encourage young entrepreneurs to take on a role in policy advocacy and nurturing the next
generation chamber leadership. The conference was sponsored by the US Embassy, with
additional support from CIPE Pakistan
Entrepreneurship in Pakistan
- Entrepreneurship is all about undertaking risk and bearing risk. Innovation
requires entrepreneurs to take calculated risks and with the help of this it is
important to achieve economic growth in Pakistan. The nationalization period in
Pakistan has affected innovation adversely and in subsequent years very little of
it could place because planning system has been unable to understand it. As a
result, the entire essence and the spirit of innovation were strangled. Without the
required educated and skilled workforce, Pakistan cannot attain innovation
threshold and economic growth. It is not just a matter of insufficient resources or
ill-conceived policies but more of an unsupported culture. Excessive government
interventions have directed investment towards rent seeking rather than
A report of KSE shows an insignificant number of listed entrepreneurship and in
this age, Government enterprise remain among the large listed companies. It is
no wonder that Pakistan’s investment rate is low. Actually answer to these
problems is not more regulations but de-regulations.
Government cannot produce entrepreneurs but provide a regulatory and policy
framework. Not all the responsibility for economic success lies with changes in
the Government, A change of business attitude is also needed recognition that
changes are expected and reliance on Government is minimal. Businesses must
satisfy consumer preferences. There is a need of promoting youth
entrepreneurship and self-employment is the key to deliver for young people as
far as their livelihood is concerned. Rather than jumping onto country-wide
innovation entrepreneurship reforms, such an exercise should be launched as
Emerging economies are characterized by an increasing market orientation and an expanding economic foundation.
The success of many of these economies is such that they are rapidly becoming major economic forces in the world.
Entrepreneurship plays a key role in this economic development. Yet to date, little is known about entrepreneurship in
emerging economies. This introductory article to the special issue on entrepreneurship in emerging economies
examines the literature that exists to date in this important domain. It then reviews the research that was generated
as part of this special issue on this topic. The article concludes with a discussion of the critical future research needs
in this area.
Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy
Engine for Economic Growth
Entrepreneurs have long been drivers of innovation in developed countries. They start companies and
create new industries that keep economies strong and prosperous. Today, however, in developing
nations such as China, state-controlled economies are building robust industries at stunning speed and
siphoning off jobs from the West. How can entrepreneurs function in the face of this challenge? Can they
continue to create economic value in a globalized business environment? This book addresses the crucial
issue of state planning vs. free enterprise and examines specific problems surrounding entrepreneurship
in the global economy through nine case histories of entrepreneurial companies. It also looks at how and
why government gets involved in economic growth and how entrepreneurs contribute to economic value.
Based on this analysis, the authors argue that companies can succeed, even in controlled economies, by
understanding the customs and policies of countries where they do business.