OCTOBER 30, 2019
It is important to understand that every challenge from everyday life to economic challenges is complex but there are solvable through guiding principle approach adoption and genuine collaboration. There could be significant improvement highlighted if there is confidence that diverse actors and institutions involved will jointly collaborate to drive progress. International organizations are already cottoned on to the fact that youth entrepreneurship is core to the process of solving the SDGs. Despite this, governments are still lagging.
For instance, in Pakistan by having a glance at the rapid move toward highly innovative and technology-driven economies it would be good to invest and build the digital youth that brings together the next generation of digital innovators, shaping and mapping Pakistan’s digital future that can create new jobs and opportunities. It will help to redefine Pakistan as an emerging technology hub. There could be promising results if this strategy is primarily focused on KNPs that come with the added benefit of growing innovative startups, investments in infrastructure and interest from international businesses to create more than 75,000 jobs. Today, 50 percent of the people in Pakistan are age 30 and below. Young men and women stand to gain significantly from global opportunities. Therefore, there is dire need to continue to invest in their skills and mold their ideas into new products, services, and successful businesses that will benefit us all. There is a further need to refine policies and investments to attract investors and turn the region into the next business processing outsourcing center, which has the potential to create many jobs for women and men.
There is a need to take this opportunity to connect Pakistan’s youth to a global and networked economy. In this dynamic and globalized world, the youth of even the most far-flung areas of Pakistan will increasingly have an opportunity to work, to make money, and to innovate through virtual connections whether at the office or home.
The most powerful tools to spark entrepreneurship and crowd source innovation are competitions and prizes. Either government can create their prize programs or harness existing ones, they are a proven way to begin building an entrepreneurship pipeline
The market for digital entrepreneurship, a multi-billion-dollar industry, growing at a rapid rate and is thirsty for young talent. With creativity and passion, it can be at the forefront of social and economic change. I hope the fresh blood will be in the driver’s seat of this exciting future.
To conclude my discussion, I hereby propose five concrete steps I believe governments can and should take to create positive change through youth entrepreneurship. Two of the most powerful tools to spark entrepreneurship and crowd source innovation are competitions and prizes. Either government can create their prize programs or harness existing ones, they are a proven way to begin building an entrepreneurship pipeline. Moreover, the promotion of entrepreneurship must be grounded in local contexts and the problems that are required to solve should be impact-centered. Policy in this area needs to be considered in the context of young people’s lives today, and what is on their mind – as for many young people this means pursuing impact as well as profit. Furthermore, young minds should be given a seat at the table. Generally, policies and initiatives are rarely successful if the decision-making process does not engage the end recipient as under the 30s make 51% of global population whereas only 2% of them are representative at highest forums. Then, there should be the provision of specific entrepreneurship training for young people as entrepreneurship itself is a distinct skill set which is increasingly demanded by corporate and political recruiters. Therefore, policies meant to encourage youth entrepreneurship must enable young people to learn the skills necessary to pursue this path successfully. Lastly, there should be showcasing and creating case studies of successful youth entrepreneurs who have been supported by their government that in turn show others that this route is possible for them. As Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma said in the early days of his business: “We will make it because we are young and we never, never give up.” The power of youth entrepreneurship is not to be underestimated as a value creator.