KARACHI: The United Nations Development Programme Pakistan defines youth on the basis of an age demographic that ranges from 15-29 years. Year over year, the world’s youth population is increasing.
According to a survey conducted by Labour Force, 27.63% of Pakistan’s population can be classified as youth. Currently, more than one-third of Pakistan’s youth population lives in urban areas, of which 32% are uneducated with no vocational and life skills which results in high unemployment.
The youth of any nation can play a vital role in the economic development of the country, and given the high literacy rate amongst the Pakistani youth, the country is well poised to benefit from its growing youth population.
However, even though nearly 23% of this age demographic want to start their own businesses in Pakistan but the major causes that hinder the promotion of entrepreneurship in Pakistan are widespread corruption, lack of proper law and order system, lack of infrastructural facilities, lack of financing and lack of education and skills.
As per the Pakistan Economic Survey 2009-10, Pakistan is facing a serious energy crisis. Even though there has been a constant cry for the need of electricity in both rural and urban areas, no valuable steps have been taken to resolve the issue concerning the shortage of electricity. This shortage not only affects and hinders the daily lives of people but also affects businesses.
In order to improve living standards of people and to enhance the economic growth of the country; sustainable, renewable energy solutions need to be taken to overcome the energy crisis. For example, the government needs to provide incentives to encourage the production and use of electricity from sunlight via solar lamps and lights. This cannot only produce electricity but can also improve the livelihood of rural youth by creating opportunities for innovation and increased sustainable business ventures.
Entrepreneurship is increasingly being accepted in Pakistan as an important mode of income generation for rural youth. Commencing a business of renewable energy will not only solve the energy problem but also improve the living condition of the society and economic growth of the country due to youth and rural development.
It is widely accepted that entrepreneurship has number of potential benefits and the most obvious one is it creates income beyond just the individual; entrepreneurship generates employment for society, conferring the social benefits that accompany high employment societies.
Recently, the concept of entrepreneurship among youth has increased due to high level of unemployment. Its opened avenues not thought of before and help improve the economic condition of the country.
The writer is a research officer at Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST).
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.
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