If you are a budding entrepreneur looking for ways to fund your promising startup, here is a detailed list of the six most practical sources of funding, currently available through private and public sector organizations in Pakistan.
From food carts to ride-hailing services and e-commerce businesses, innovative solutions by brilliant Pakistanis have helped mitigate some of the most complex challenges existing nationally. The rise in entrepreneurship in Pakistan over the past decade comes with changing attitudes towards self-employment and a belated eagerness to embrace the startup culture’s global trend.
There is no shortage of entrepreneurs tapping into the unrealized potential that the Pakistani market offers, be it the fresh graduates, non-resident Pakistanis, or multi-nationals former employees. However, the road to startup success is paved with innumerable challenges – of whom fundraising continues to be the most critical one. Despite an unprecedented increase in startup-funding available in Pakistan and many success stories, getting seed capital is not a walk in the park.
Crowdfunding platforms bring investors willing to invest and entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas in one place. For instance, Indiegogo enables individuals to pitch their business ideas to a community of investors willing to support their ideas and generate substantial amounts as a result.
The process encompasses a few simple steps:
- Set up the amount you need to generate
- Create a campaign
- Describe your campaign in detail with images and videos
- Make a business pitch on the platform and share your business model
- Share your contact details
The interactive Indiegogo platform displays the funded campaigns and their amounts on the website to ensure transparency.
“Angel Investors” have vast amounts of capital and are willing to invest in promising business ideas. Numerous Pakistani startups have successfully scaled their businesses after getting millions injected from globally based angel investors through seed funding rounds.
With a portfolio comprising of 8 funded startups and a board of investors hailing from various sectors, Dot Zero ventures makes for a viable option for early-stage companies looking to scale
Venture Capital funds identify and invest in startups offering solutions of a disruptive nature. Sarmayacar and Lakson Investments are two of the most prominent venture capital firms working to bolster emerging e-commerce/retail startups in Pakistan. Both venture capital giants have notable brands such as BYKEA, dawaai, Patari & BaGallery on their portfolio.
Many banking institutions in Pakistan provide loans to enthusiastic entrepreneurs with concrete business plans.
Here are a few options you can consider in that regard:
NBP’s credit guarantee scheme
The national bank’s credit guarantee scheme finances startup businesses, and rural enterprises with a maximum financing amount of PKR. 1.5 million and tenor of up to 5 years.
HBL Small Business Finance
Habib Bank Limited – the largest private sector commercial bank offers up to PKR 15 million for small businesses with tenors up to 3 years.
Microfinance is a viable option for businesses who can’t access conventional banking capital. FINCA microfinance bank’s “Karobari Karza” offers a short term loan facility to entrepreneurs of up to PKR 150,000, with credit tenures ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
6-Government Schemes For Entrepreneurs
The Government of Pakistan’s youth-focused initiatives include schemes that fund promising business ideas by young entrepreneurs.
Here are two of them:
Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (Yes!)
The scheme provides interest-free loans in three different tiers – up to PKR 1 million in Tier 1, PKR 10 million in Tier 2, and PKR 25 million in Tier 3.
Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans
The Prime minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme aims to promote entrepreneurship by supporting new businesses, with maximum loans of up to PKR 2 Million.
Give Bootstrapping A Try
Bootstrapping is the process of building a business from scratch, without depending on external funding. If you have exhausted all six avenues of startup funding mentioned here but to no avail, bootstrapping could be the way to go. You may need to consider starting without any launch support except financing from friends and family and personal savings.
Pakistani startups have made their mark on an international level and received well-deserved acclaim. Do you like to think big and aspire to join Pakistani entrepreneurs creating employment opportunities for fellow Pakistanis and simultaneously turning their own lives around? If so, we hope that this short guide helps you do just that!