LAHORE (NNI): A total of 30 trainers from all over Pakistan are being trained on The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) global module, Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to strengthen business incubation centres, stated in a press release issued here on Wednesday.
The training has a special focus on gender dimensions of entrepreneurship training and business development so that business incubation centres can meet the needs and expectations of female entrepreneurs effectively.
The initiative is being piloted in 12 HEC accredited universities from all four provinces of Pakistan as well as Gilgit-Baltistan. Other development based organizations participating in the training including Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Punjab Vocational Training Council and Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA). The initiative is being supported by the ILO project Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment (GE4DE) funded by Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development (DFATD) Canada.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are the hallmark of any vibrant economy”, said Ms. Munawar Sultana Senior Programme Officer ILO, during the opening of the 13 day Training of Trainers in SIYB today. Ms.Uzma Naz-HEC Representative said that they welcomed the ILO’s support under the GE4DE project, to establish this network of business incubation centres around Pakistan, saying that universities and colleges provided the perfect setting for students to generate business ideas and get the support and guidance to turn them into real enterprises.
The Training is facilitated by Mr.Gemenu Wijesena-Senior Master Trainer, SIYB Association of Sri Lanka and Ms. Shahanaz Kapadia Rahat, a veteran in the field of entrepreneurship and gender equality. Talking about the global success of SIYB Mr. Wijesena described it as being one of the most successful programmes in Sri Lanka succeeding in expanding entrepreneurial thinking amongst students and leading to the creation of many innovative small enterprises, and was hopeful it would do the same for Pakistan.
Small and micro – enterprises employ a large share of workers and create jobs in developing economies and helps in poverty alleviation and women empowerment, particularly in the informal economy.
Therefore, the support to these enterprises has been a policy priority for many economies in the past decades. The International Labour Organization has been part of these efforts by helping governments and private sector to provide more and better services to start-ups and existing small enterprises to support job creation. This initiative ties in well with the government’s focus on promoting entrepreneurship through programmes such as the Prime Minister’s youth business loan programme.
The universities and training providers participating in the SIYB Training include, Quaid-e-AzamUniversity, Institute of Space & Technology, and NationalUniversity of Science & Technology (NUST), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Faisalabad, IBA, Sukkar, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Quetta and University of Malakand. Other organizations that are business development service providers and have enterprise development programme as their mandate are also participating. These include Punjab Vocational Training Center (PVTC), SMEDA, Gems and Jewellery Development Company, Gilgit, Business for Social Progress, Baltistan Cultural Development Foundation, and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF). These organizations will roll out SIYB through their on-going programmes on business development and entrepreneurship.