KARACHI - A revolutionary business plan competition that spanned over six months from January to July called ‘Invent 2012’ was held at IBA, Karachi.

It attracted 137 universities from all over Pakistan and more than 2,500 students who went through six months of grueling business plan exercises. These exercises provided an enormous opportunity of learning for students through trainings, workshops and especially through mentoring provided by the industry personnel. The Invent grand finale was held in Karachi on Saturday and the representation from industry and students was commendable. In his welcome address, Zafar Ahmed Siddiqui, Director of Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) said, “Entrepreneurship is a concept we need to sell everyday; working 9 to 5 is all very well but doing something on your own is a much better phenomenon”.

IBA Dean and Director Dr Ishrat Husain elaborated on the reasons why emphasis is given to entrepreneurship. The three key reasons, he identified were the existing of small and medium enterprises functioning below their optimum capacity and hence have room for expansion; the youth have inherent risk-taking ability but do not have the tools and techniques and lastly our labour force is expanding by 1.5 per cent per annum and there is a great need for job creators rather than job seekers. In his address, Dr Ishrat said, “For these reasons, IBA has committed to entrepreneurship through mentoring, educating, training and research”.

The following presentations by participant showed their enthusiasm for the field. The efforts of IBA – Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) were applauded at every stage for encouraging the youth of Pakistan to explore the entrepreneurial path. Invent – The Entrepreneurial Challenge is indeed one big step to imbibe the youth of our country with the latest in entrepreneurial and innovation fields.