9 January 2019, Lahore — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan and Kashf Foundation have partnered to train and mentor 8,000 young men and women in entrepreneurship skills in targeted areas of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The aim of the partnership is to support entrepreneurship and self-employment for the youth, ensuring that they are increasingly built on lessons from the field operations while utilizing blended methods of learning (classroom based and e-learning).
The National Human Development Report estimates that 29 percent of the country’s population consists of youth between the ages of 15-29 years, most of who face the challenge of unemployment and limited alternative economic opportunities. And the situation is worse for the female workforce. There are not enough jobs for the youth that enter the job market every year. Therefore, entrepreneurship is the most viable option not just to create employment for youth but to spur economic growth in the country. UNDP aims to support young motivated micro-entrepreneurs with specific focus on women through training and mentorship to expand their capacity to start an enterprise.
At the end of the training and mentorship it is envisaged that the youth will have more knowledge about how to start /expand a business to make it into a successful enterprise and become a source of employment while finding new opportunities to venture into new markets.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative a.i. UNDP Pakistan said, “In collaboration with our partners, UNDP is working to empower the Pakistani youth to become engines of economic growth.”
“Entrepreneurial zeal is a vital ingredient for the economic growth of any country. Investing in the entrepreneurship of Pakistani youth will reap multiple benefits especially in terms of boosting self-confidence and generating new economic opportunities,” said Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director and Founder of Kashf Foundation.
The representatives from both UNDP and Kashf expressed their hope that this was only the beginning of a productive and beneficial partnership between the two.
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UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.
Kashf was set up in 1996 as the first specialized microfinance institution of Pakistan and since then Kashf has successfully carved out a distinct and unique niche for itself in the microfinance sector at home and abroad by offering a suite of innovative and transformative products and services to low-income households especially women.