Youth Entrepreneurship Development

When CIPE opened its office in Pakistan in 2006, the country had had an official youth policy pending approval since 1984. To address this issue, CIPE- Pakistan partnered with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to address the progression of this issue with the government. In June 2008, CIPE and the Chamber organized a conference to present a draft youth policy to 130 young business people, students, and professionals. Participants recommended changes to the draft policy regarding entrepreneurship, skill development, microfinance, and internship opportunities;  the first ever opportunity for youth in Pakistan to provide direct feedback to policy makers. The policy was approved the following year and included four major recommendations from the conference in the final document.

At the capstone meeting, Hifz Ur Rehman, Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, requested private sector input regarding a proposed partnership with the government and its internship program. The program currently focuses on providing internship opportunities to young graduates in various public sector organizations and is funded by the federal government.  Mr. Rehman explained that if the private sector commits to retaining at least five percent of the interns, the Ministry of Youth Affairs would expand the current policy to encourage the private sector to hire more young graduates . Following the conference, the Ministry invited the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the placement of interns in private sector companies, and five hundred corporate members of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry demonstrated their commitment to engage one thousand interns. The program continues to encourage additional chambers and associations to join this reform.

Youth EntrepreneurshipProgram :

Pakistan is a country of more than 170 million inhabitants, almost 50 percent of whom are under the age of twenty-five. Due to the recent global economic downturn, joblessness has increased and evoked an urgent need for youth capacity building projects. In response, CIPE Pakistan and the Citizen Foundation Schools (CFS) signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2009. They agreed to work together to create, introduce, and monitor a secondary school level course on basic economic concepts called Ayesha Ka Karobar. This one week course will target TCF alumni and introduce topics concerning the difference between savings and investment, the importance of market research and product differentiation, and the advantages of competition over monopoly.