According to Pakistani entrepreneurs, the seeds of innovation, job creation, and a startup culture already exist in Pakistan – it will just take hard work and a supportive environment. This was the main takeaway from this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan, an annual international celebration promoting entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit. In collaboration with various Pakistani and American partners, U.S. Mission Pakistan jointly-hosted a series of events in Islamabad, Karachi, and Peshawar promoting a vibrant and innovative Pakistani economy. Including Pakistan, Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrated in 170 countries around the globe, connecting aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs and advocating for an economic environment conducive to innovation.
In Islamabad, events included a Coffee Talk between women entrepreneurs and Catherine Jones, wife of U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Paul Jones and herself an entrepreneur. The U.S. Mission also hosted a roundtable where Pakistani entrepreneurs who received assistance through USAID programs shared their experiences, challenges, and successes with their peers.
In Karachi, the U.S. Consulate organized a series of talks focused on entrepreneurial culture and encouraging persistence. Fred Walti, CEO, The Network For Global Innovation, shared his entrepreneurial journey from a motorcycle racer to clean technology entrepreneur. The Consulate also hosted a tea with a local entrepreneur at the Lincoln Corner Larkana.
U.S. Consulate Peshawar hosted a series of talks at Lincoln Corners and partner institutions for students and young entrepreneurs. Rashid Aman of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Activity spoke specifically on youth entrepreneurship in Khyber-Pakhtukhnwa. Gohar Saleem, of the Coordinator Entrepreneurship Development Cells spoke to students about American lessons on entrepreneurship. The Eleanor Roosevelt Corner in Peshawar hosted a seminar for female business and arts students on how women can connect to the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The U.S. Consulate in Lahore launched their latest webseries focusing on entrepreneurship and business, featuring information on resources for members of the business community. The Consulate also met with a delegation from Bolingbrook, Illinois, which is in Pakistan visiting sister city Sialkot with the intention of reinvigorating business and entrepreneurship ties between the two cities.
Culminating the week-long celebration, Ambassador Paul Jones hosted a reception at his residence to celebrate entrepreneurs and other individuals who support the business landscape in Pakistan. Ambassador Jones especially acknowledged women social entrepreneurs including those who recently returned from a U.S. government-supported TechCamp in Dubai, saying, “These women interacted with their peers from India to share information and collaborate on their efforts in different sectors like healthcare, education, and technology. I look forward to seeing them grow their business and continue to mentor other women interested in following in your footsteps!”