ENTREPRENEURSHIP and innovation are building blocks for tackling many of the economic and social challenges faced by emerging economies today.

Pivoting towards an entrepreneurial-focused economy can help unlock a nation's potential in the same way that technology has engendered success in many markets globally.

IN the Developing World the private sector can create access routes to finance. For example, more than half of all Pakistanis are without access to financial services, according to the World Bank.

Of 3.2 million small to medium enterprises in the country, banks have only lent to 188,000 enterprises.

Pakistan's formal financial institutions tend to favour established enterprises, and the resulting financing gap prevents entrepreneurs from researching the technical feasibility of new products to build commercial and marketing channels.

This presents a significant opportunity for the nation's private sector to fuel profitable start-ups and engender greater socioeconomic value.

Besides local market knowledge, investors can mitigate their risk by following certain guiding principles, such as following an insight-driven approach, driving core value, or investing along thematic lines, such as by geography or industrial vertical.

Educators can create an inclusive talent ecosystem. A sizeable talent pool of about 600,000 graduates each year from Pakistan's educational institutions

Yet the nation only ranks, 109 out of 170 on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index.

But these young people can each be empowered to bring their dreams to fruition with an ecosystem that nudges them to innovate.

[The developing World] - Pakistani institutions need to launch more programmes that develop talent at scale or team up incubators  to cultivate start-ups talent.

In Pakistan, private sector economies have taken the lead, but government institutes can do more on this front.

[The Developing World] If Pakistan wants to safeguard the future of its youth, it needs to embrace some of these lessons from other markets and establish the networks between private and public sector to nurture the nascent start-up ecosystem and access the benefits of  the  digital revolution that is helping other countries leapfrog their social development.

The nation's first billion-dollar valuation has yet to be sighted but - with the right encouragement - the day when it shows itself may not be too far away.

The World Students Society thanks author Abdur Rahim Syed/partner at McKinsey & Company.


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