We are always delighted when our supporters show additional interest in our work. Which is why we were excited when Abid Majid took out the time to visit the Urban Youth Project to meet some of the participants.
I believe, achieving ambition is no feat in the domain of the privileged, it is simply a by-product of the strata and the ready availability of opportunity for someone like myself. I was delighted to visit the Lahore University of Management Sciences and observe the valuable support and training the Urban Youth Project is offering young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s providing the essential training, guidance and feedback, investing into the future of entrepreneurs who really have no one else to turn to. Being acutely aware of the ground realities in Pakistan and the desperate need to create opportunity for deserving youth, I was very impressed to see this programme.
Upon my visit it was a pleasure to spend time with Mr Faisal, who ran through the micro-entrepreneurship programme. And on a site visit, I was able to meet a young entrepreneur, who was running an electronics repairing business. He had received training from the Urban Youth Project. In the age of excessive consumerism where old electrical items continue to inhabit landfills, it was heartening to see an environmentally friendly business.
His practice is a testament to how this programme is changing lives first-hand.
I learnt how the training he received from the Urban Youth project had allowed him to experiment with new ideas specifically around marketing for expanding the business and reach a wider audience. The programme had also offered him the well needed support to kit out his shop. He has now simply found a location and markets locally to involve other small businesses.
The entrepreneur told me how he had taken over his father's business and had been successfully expanding the set up over the previous nine months. It was encouraging to see how the training had helped him raise his business’s structure and profile to progress in a way that he had always dreamed of.
For Pakistan to progress it is imperative for the youth to be motivated with the sense that their hard work and ambition can yield results. I admire the efforts of the Urban Youth Project and the positive impact of its outreach. I hope that other people can witness this important work, especially the private sector and big corporates who can invest in this project and contribute to the capacity building of our youth and the future of Pakistan.
Abid Majid, supporter of the British Asian Trust
The British Asian Trust launched the Urban Youth Enterprises Incubator in Pakistan with Citi Foundation in 2016 and continues to be funded under the Foundation’s Pathways to Progress programme. This business incubator, delivered by Lahore University of Management Sciences National Incubation Centre, supports the employment of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills and start to engage in the formal economy through a first job or through developing and growing a thriving business.