ISLAMABAD           -        Evaluating the energies and potential of the Pakistani youth, speakers at a virtual conference said that the young entrepreneurs at different universities in the country form an integral part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and their energy and their ideas need to be fostered as they will be the business leaders of tomorrow.

The virtual conference titled “Sindh Incubation Liaison Conference (SILC) 2020” was concluded yesterday.

The main objective of the conference was to connect public sector business incubation centres (BICs) from Sindh with relevant stakeholders as well as each other for an effective engagement and learning session.

As part of this project, four MoUs were also signed between the four public sector universities from Sindh namely Dow University of Health Sciences - Karachi, NED University of Engineering & Technology - Karachi, Institute of Business Administration – Sukkur, and Sindh Agriculture University - Tandojam and NIC Karachi.

The conference was organized by Concepts Unlimited in partnership with UNDP and National Incubation Centre (NIC) Karachi.

The event marked the closing of UNDP’s ongoing capacity building of BICs staff, incubatee companies and students from nine public sector universities across Pakistan, out of which four universities were from Sindh. 

Senior officials from NIC Karachi, Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF), VCs and UNDP participated in the conference. Along with the four public sector universities, IBA- Karachi also participated in the event as being a vibrant incubator from Sindh. 

Shindo Yusuke, Deputy Head of Japan Mission, welcomed the participants and inaugurated the event by outlining the importance entrepreneurship in Pakistan. 

He said that Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world today with over two-thirds of its population below the age of 30. This growing youth population needs many opportunities and employment creation.

“We need to support them and help them take the risks that are needed for growth and success,” he said. 

In his remarks, Amir Goraya, Assistant Resident Representative UNDP, said “As we are well aware, cross pollination of startups and of the incubators that host them is vital to the growth of the startup ecosystem.”

He announced that a similar event would be held for five public sector universities from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa later this month. 

A panel discussion “Future and sustainability of incubators” was also organized in which representatives from SEDF, UNDP and NIC participated along with the universities’ VCs. It primarily focused on role of incubators in national economy, best practices of incubators and how it can contribute in nurturing the culture.

Haider Miraj, the head of programs and master trainer, concepts unlimited, moderated the event and presented the findings of the overall activity: “We have trained over 100 people including BIC staff and their incubatee companies in Sindh during this project, developed many new areas of further engagement, and signed over four MoUs.”