I’ve lived in numerous European nations over the past twenty years. The difference in populations of youngsters and the elderly is a common finding in all those nations. In actuality, just little more than a third of people in Europe are under 30. In Pakistan, on the other hand, the situation is just the contrary; the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that 64% of the population will be under the age of 30 by the year 2050 at the very least. As a result, Pakistan may be sitting on even a gold mine thanks to its young, energetic population.
I have compelling grounds to support my bold assertion that our young is a potential gold mine. Let’s focus on the startup scene in Pakistan as an example. Pakistan’s startup culture is still prospering despite Pakistan having less startup financing accessible per capita than nations like Nigeria or India that are comparable. For instance, 34 Nigerian businesses obtained venture capital (VC) investment in 2017, compared to 790 Indian startups, and only nine Pakistani startups. This number climbed to 32 in 2019 and to 41 in 2020. Additionally, Pakistani entrepreneurs raised almost $65 million in 2020, a big increase from the $47.5 million they raised in 2019. It would be unjust if we failed to recognize the efforts made by the government in this area, including the supply of IT infrastructure, tax breaks, and the creation of national incubation facilities. Additionally, the recently introduced Kamyab Jawan Program, a youth entrepreneurship loan program, gives young people the chance to fully realize their entrepreneurial potential through subsidized company loans. As a result of the government’s pro-business policies, conducting business in Pakistan has also become easier. We should also praise academia’s and universities’ contributions in this area. Recently, several colleges have been encouraging their students to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Even in the first semesters, several private colleges expose their students to entrepreneurial courses and incubators. Universities in the public sector are also catching up swiftly. One such instance is the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), which just launched its incubation program. IAST is the first university to be established in Pakistan as a result of cooperation between Pakistan, Austria, and China. IAST offers a platform to assist its staff and students in developing their ideas into workable businesses through a substantial $10 million venture capital fund. In developed courtiers, where university plays a crucial role in developing entrepreneurial talent, this is comparable. Many colleges offer an environment that fosters outstanding ideas from the very beginning. They help the ideas develop into a product by contributing the initial funding. For instance, successful firms have already collected more than $40 million through the University of Oxford’s incubation programme. IAST wants to write Pakistan’s version of a similar success story.