Pakistan is a country with a population of over 180 million and out of the total population, 60 percent comprises of youth (aged 15-24). Unfortunately the majority of this youth remains unemployed due to a lack of job opportunities and thus amalgamation of modern business practices and latest communication technologies has led to the growth of a tech based entrepreneurial culture in the country.
Entrepreneurship can be a highly rewarding experience, but young entrepreneurs need proper guidance and a platform to convert their raw business idea into a profitable business. For this purpose, various incubation and acceleration centers have been established across the country and according to a study, there are over three thousand business incubators or shared business facilities around the world which were just over 200 a decade ago.
What illustrates the need of such centers is the factor of sustainability. While 60 percent of new firms do survive the first year of business, hardly 10 percent of those new firms are able to sustain in the market in the initial ten years. This lack of sustainability is mainly due to the lack of knowledge and the inability to respond to consumer preferences, market demands and technological changes.
The inability to attain proper knowledge can even lead to the downfall of big multinationals. A perfect example of this whole scenario can be seen from the last speech former CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop.
During the press conference to announce Nokia being acquired by Microsoft, Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.”
Nokia was once a telecom giant but its downfall shows that that they missed out on learning and thus lost the opportunity to earn big money and lost the chance of survival. Even though Nokia is back in the market but their competitors have captured the market which was once ruled by them.
According to the Pakistan Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Report 2016, there are 13.5 million mobile broadband users and 125 million mobile phone subscribers in Pakistan and these huge numbers give the country the capacity to solve local issues using technology and communication methods. This ability to solve local issues can be backed by the fact that approximately 23 percent of Pakistani youth want to start their own business and get into entrepreneurship.
Don Tapscott classed people from ages 11-30 the “Net Generation” in his book Grown Up Digital, a generation that has literally grown up digital and are part of the latest technological age. For the first time, youth is being considered as an authority and has penetrated into the marketplace and corporate world announcing the arrival of the digital technological age.
These numbers show the potential of entrepreneurship in Pakistan and MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan (MITEFP), sensing this potential, has launched a six week long Startup School which would equip startups with resources and tools that will help them prepare for future business problems in a better way. This would ensure that they stay one step ahead of their competitors by implementing better business strategies and marketing plans that will help in the correct identification of target audience and customer base.
Along with benefiting the young entrepreneurial community, the Startup School will act as a catalyst to take entrepreneurship to a totally new level in Pakistan and would further promote students and potential entrepreneurs to solve their problems by innovative solutions.