Young Entrepreneurs Conference, a motivational and inspiring conference was held on 27th January, 2012 at Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad. It is basically a Young Entrepreneur Forum (YEF) of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce combining a group of young entrepreneurs who have come together to help promote the culture and spirit of entrepreneurship in the youth of country. YEF was established in 2008 to provide the platform by conducting conferences and seminars which will provide an interface between policy makers, industry professionals, investors, established entrepreneurs and to create the elusive networking opportunity. The forum has a goal to help potential entrepreneurs through technical assistance, mentoring, capacity building and make it easier for them by learning through their experiences.
YEC was started with the recitation and then the video addresses by Dr. Atta ur Rehman and Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State, US). These both addresses were exclusively recorded for this conference and were quite stimulating. It then moved ahead with the opening speech of Shaban Khalid (Chairman, YEF). Yassar Sakhi Butt (President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries) also addressed the conference and they guaranteed full support and guidance from their side for entrepreneurial activities and new ideas.
Moderated discussion was then started with a panel of 3 entrepreneurs, Monis Rehman (CEO Naseeb Networks/ROZEE PK), Dr. Sohail Naqvi (Executive Director HEC) and Zafar Khan (CEO Sofizar). Adnan Afridi (Advisor, Silk Bank) was the moderator of this discussion. The discussion entails keys to building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem that involves entrepreneurial education, technology and bridging gap between generations. All this discussion was thought provoking and inspiring for those who have dreams to become something and are fearful of failures. Discussants shared their personal experiences that were encouraging. As one of them said “If you want to achieve anything, let not anything stand in your way. Just do it.” At the end it was jointly agreed that the main issue for youth is ‘access’ to the opportunities and forums.
After this discussion, his Excellency Cameron Munter (US Ambassador to Pakistan) spoke to the audience. He mentioned few of the successful Pakistani entrepreneurs who have achieved a remarkable success in short time. The most amazing one was the E2E logistics’ business owner’s story who has a growth of above 1000% in 5 years and P&G Pakistan who was awarded the world’s best socio economic company. He shared the efforts that are being made by US to help and promote the environment of Entrepreneurship in the Country. He said “Creativity is one of the most important quality of entrepreneurs”.
After lunch break, there was a moderated discussion on the Role of Government and Private Sector for Facilitating Entrepreneurship which was moderated by Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (Dty. Chief Planning Commission, GOP). The Discussants include Asad Umar (President Engro Corporation), Isfandiyar Shaheen – Head of growth equity Cyan and Ghias Khan (CEO, Inbox). Apart from these main discussions, there were parallel sessions being held as well. These sessions were at women entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and Building Bridges through Business-Dispora linkages. After the group discussion Wille Erola presented on foreign perspective on entrepreneurship in Pakistan followed by Ayla Majid who closed the event with her ending remarks.
Overall the event was very well managed and lively. It will serve as one of the building blocks for creating awareness about the entrepreneurial opportunities and channelizing the potential in the required direction that will result in robust economic growth. The key objective of this conference was to start a wave of entrepreneurial development which is not limited to providing encouragement to potential entrepreneurs of the future through technical assistance, mentoring and capacity building only, but the same would ultimately lead to positive contribution to the overall economy by creating job opportunities, revenues for the businesses as well as for the government. Also the key focus in the conference was to remove the distance between Academia and Industry.
The team LeReveal found this event very helpful and motivating. The need of the hour is to nurture and bring forward the minds that can solve the problems of common man and people who from their knowledge can create entrepreneurial ventures benefiting the society as a whole. Such Conferences and seminars should be held regularly so that different people can come up on stage and share their experiences with the youth.
Kudos to the team of YEC for making this event a success.
The event was covered live on www.facebook.com/lereveal by Umair Aziz and Sabeen Fatima.
Posted by: Sabeen Fatima.