The need of time has allowed entrepreneurship and social innovation to become a popular global phenomenon around the world. Whilst youth of developed countries has embraced entrepreneurship quite rapidly, developing economies are also taking initiatives slowly, yet steadily. In this regard, Pakistan has seen quite a growth in the last 5 years. Various programs have been launched to promote technology entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship among the youth through private as well as public initiatives.
A new entrant in the local ecosystem of social entrepreneurship is Elevate The Youth (ETY). The initiative is being led by Sadaffe Abid, former CEO and COO of the popular Kashf Foundation. During her tenure at the Foundation, Sadaffe expanded Kashf from a pilot project to serving 300,000 women clients and distributing over $200 million in microloans for women-run businesses. Moreover, Sadaffe has been a teaching fellow at Harvard University for adaptive leadership. Her portfolio includes working with the Atlantic Council, Dubai Holding, DP World, six Fortune500 companies, CEDEP and INSEAD.
What is Elevate The Youth?
Elevate The Youth focally targets capacity building of Pakistani youth, enabling them to combat local issues and contribute towards the progress of the country. The organizations works with a 4-week program where participants explore challenges pertaining to entrepreneurship, technology, and business. The participants are matched with not only big corporations such as Nestle but they also get to work with startups such as Beauty Hooked, Taza Daily, etc. Various capacity building workshops are also organized for the interns that explore self-discovery and active citizenship.
Currently, ETY is based out of Lahore with an ambition to scale over to other major cities. The current batch has kick-started, where participants are working on social innovation projects and being mentored by veterans of the industry. The internship-cum-accelerator program will conclude in August with a competition amongst the participants.
What is Circle?
Circle is a women-centric capacity building initiative by the Elevate team. The program features on facilitating women to take up leadership roles and exercise entrepreneurship. The initiative has been launched by Sadaffe Abid, with Kelly Rappuchi and Oraine Kets de Vries, hailing from North America and Europe who have expertise in coaching professionals and leadership education. The program brings together professionals from diverse industries to pledge for women leaders.
You can take part in their listening tour and contribute towards their live research which they claim will develop a new DNA of women leadership. Moreover, Circle is also accepting internees for various departments. The selected candidates will have access to global networking and mentoring opportunities.
The initiative taken by Elevate The Youth holds promise in engaging local youth with the corporate world and exposing them to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Internship and fellowship programs like ETY and Acumen are speculated to go a long way to contribute towards economic and social development in the country. The success of i2i can be an archetype in this regard, which has mentored successful social startups and created employment opportunities for many.