Pakistan: Promoting Students​ Entrepreneurship

“Entrepreneurship is considered to have greater economic and social impact on the development of any country. Country like Pakistan in which youth comprises of more than 64 percent of total population of 210 million can play an important role.”

Dr. ALTAF SAMO — MIT Entrepreneurship Teacher Fellow 

Director Executive Development Center (Hyderabad, Pakistan)

Pakistan need more than 1.7 million jobs annually for the workforce which is ready to enter in the job market every year which means Pakistan GDP has to grow at the rate of more than 8 per annum to achieve this target.

Considering the current GDP growth of around 3 percent per annum with gloomy future forecast for next few years, it is important to focus on the alternative strategy which not only create employment opportunities for youth but also contribute to the economic development of the Pakistan.

The ultimate option is to promote entrepreneurship among students studying in universities which employee their knowledge and skill to create new venture and become job creators rather than job seekers.

The finding of the 8th Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS) which was conducted across 54 countries in which more than 1000 universities and 208,000 the positive approach of university students’ towards entrepreneurial intentions attitude and activities across Pakistan.

The key finding GUESSS Pakistan Report provided insight regarding

Students’ (Entrepreneurial) Career Choice Intentions indicated that;

15.6% students intend to become entrepreneurs right after their studies.

  • 37.3% students intend to become entrepreneurs after 5 years of completing their studies.
  •  Looking at the level across 54 countries in the GUESSS, Pakistan’s standing has little improved above the average level.
  •  Pakistani students follow the same pattern as across 54 countries i-e “first employee, then entrepreneur”

 Regarding Influencing Factors

  • Favorable climate in university context is playing an important role in determining the entrepreneurial intentions and activities of the students in Pakistan.
  • Family, friends and fellow students on average have shown more positive reaction on students’ decision to start their own business.
  • Male students having for owning a business as compared to female students. Same finding for locus of control.
  • Males are dominating the field of entrepreneurship locally as well as on with their active presence in starting or owning ventures shortly after completing their formal education.

Other Important Findings

  • 57% student owners want to start their business with at least one co-founder and among them 24.5 % want to have at least one female co-founder.
  • 31% want to start their new venture in Information Technology (IT) and Communication, while more than 24% in Education and Training in Pakistan.

More than 40% students indicated that they have not yet participated in any kind of entrepreneurship workshop/course/programs at their universities.

  • 7.5 % increase in active student entrepreneurs in Pakistan as compared to results of GUESSS, 2016.
On the basis of these finding following are recommended for promoting across universities in Pakistan
  • There is increasing trend among the students who consider entrepreneurship as a possible choice career during /after attending University in Pakistan. However, students need to further enhance their insights by attending /course/programs, working in startup as an employee, and benefit from and advice

The increasing level of entrepreneurship intentions among the university students in Pakistan is a positive sign. However, still there is of lower ratio 0f converting intentions into the actual behavior. This highlights the need to create an environment which can help students for nurturing their ideas into startups to capitalize on this trend.

  • There is a need to start more entrepreneurship courses and programs across different departments in universities which provide practical to students for turning their ideas into the ventures.
  •  Universities should establish relationship and alliances with the local organization and corporate sector for strengthening the business incubator and services rendered to businesses for further improving entrepreneurial climate for students in
  •   Universities should transform the business incubator into a symbol of entrepreneurship and innovation at the regional and national level in particular business, technology or sector.
  • Universities and public institutions should play a vital role in developing and promoting an entrepreneurial eco-system in the regional areas of their operation in particular and national in general.
  • Entrepreneurship scholars in Pakistan should contextualize their research by looking at country-level factors such as entrepreneurial eco-systems, social factors, cultural context and so forth.

This article is based on the finding of 8th Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS), Pakistan report which can accessed on the link.

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