The first Centre for Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CEL) was inaugurated at Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist) to promote entrepreneurial culture at the educational institution.
The Small and Medium Enterprises-Business Support Fund (SME-BSF) backed centre was inaugurated by Khushhali Bank President Ghalib Nishtar on Monday and attended by different concerned officials.
The centre will act as a business incubation and support facility for new entrepreneurs to develop fresh and innovative products and cater more effectively to the evolving needs of domestic and international markets.
In his address, Nishtar appreciated the efforts of SME- BSF in promotion of entrepreneurship in the country. He underlined the importance of such initiatives, saying that economic growth is possible only through encouragement of entrepreneurship and CEL will definitely pay dividends in terms of increased exports, GDP growth, job creation, and improved overall competitiveness.
SME-BSF Chief Executive Saquib Mohyuddin said that the centre has been developed to compliment the policy objectives of the government to support entrepreneurship in the country. Citing the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor - 2010, he said that only 8% of the population of Pakistan is currently involved in entrepreneurship, which is “very low” and emphasised the need to enhance it by using effective linkages between the academia and policy making organisations like BSF.
“Entrepreneurship is the only way forward in terms of employment generation and revival of business activities in the country,” he maintained.
Mohyuddin also highlighted upcoming BSF programmes for entrepreneurship development, including Franchising Pakistan and creation of an Entrepreneurship Support Fund to provide easy access to finance for new start-ups.
Szabist Director Asad Hussain assured that this centre will allow students to get practical support in their concepts for new and successful business start-ups. “Such initiatives would encourage students to start their own businesses,” he maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2011.