Inspiration to Share
The Global Entrepreneur Monitor (GEM) serves as a measure of entrepreneur activity in adults (18-64) from various countries. The GEM report of 2010 categorized Pakistan in the ‘factordriven economies’, thereby suggesting that, as compared to other countries with similar economic conditions, Pakistan lacks the required fervour and determination in terms of entrepreneurial activities. Furthermore, the report also suggested that there was a major gender gap prevalent in Pakistani society. However, the Shell Tameer Award Ceremony held on 16th march 2012 proved otherwise.
The Shell Tameer Award served as a platform for young entrepreneurs (18-32) to display their business skills. There were around 1,000 participants, out of which ten were recognized for their persistent efforts. Not only were their efforts recognized and appreciated, the award winning individuals also had the honour to share their struggles and experiences with the audience, providing them with a greater insight into their transformational journey.
Amidst the vicious cycles of escalating poverty due to rising unemployment, there is a dire need for our nation to support and encourage any entrepreneurial activity in our society. The weak economy has instilled fear in most individuals, restricting them to their comfort zones. Entrepreneurship should be about stepping out of those tried and tested zones of comfort which barely allow us to meet our requirements; we should instead take risks that have never been taken before.
The Shell Tameer Awards brought those risk takers under the limelight. Individuals like Mohammad Adnan Butt, Abdul Rehman, Maleeha Nasir, Salma Rahim and many others proved the GEM report wrong, not merely in terms of the level of determination and enthusiasm but also in terms of the supposed gender gap. The results negated the findings of the research conducted by Roomi and Parrot ( 2008). Their results had showed that owing to several restrictions imposed on women, stemming out of the patriarchal nature of our society, women in general remain deprived of many opportunities which are in comparison readily available for men. Out of the ten individuals awarded that night, five of them were females, proving that women are also making a mark in various fields.
Recently, Pakistan’s entrepreneurial passion was also commended by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinto and the US Ambassador Cameron Munter at the Pakistan Young Entrepreneurs Forum ( YEF). The event was organized by the joint collaboration of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the US Embassy. The underlying theme of the conference was ‘’ Inspiring a New Wave of Entrepreneurship”, particularly amongst youngsters, since it is directly linked with the ‘ economic growth, peace and prosperity’. The conference encouraged women’s entrepreneurship and also focused on the need to establish business ties with the Diasporas.
Besides the appreciation and recognition, the awards also served as an incentive, promoting healthy competition and instilling passion to work harder. The British High Commissioner, who was the chief guest, was impressed by the amount of talent in the young generation, and said he would convince ‘ timid’ British companies to become one of the largest investors in Pakistan. Awards were given lon the basis of how much an individual’s business helped other communities. This infused passion in many individuals to help others.