Commission Report, Policy Paper and Lahore Conference Review.
Nestled between India, Afghanistan, Iran and China, there is a country with a population exceeding 180 million people. It is the 36th largest nation in the world in terms of area and is known as Pakistan. Historically the region has been home to several ancient cultures and has been invaded and conquered by different empires and dynasties. These have all left remnants of their knowledge and business practices that have become part of Pakistan’s culture and philosophy on trade and investment, developing, inevitably, the entrepreneurial potential of the Pakistani population. In spite of the challenges the potential for growth and development of entrepreneurship in Pakistan is staggering. In the presence of several socio-economic constrictors there exists a significant opportunity to promote social entrepreneurship, i.e. entrepreneurship with a mandate of creating sustainable social or environmental impact.
‘Opportunity Pakistan’, a 15 member Commission, was organised by i-genius to explore the activities and opportunities within social innovation and the potential the country has to become a social enterprise hub in the region. The Commission travelled through Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad) to explore the current social environment, opportunities and challenges faced by social entrepreneurs and the scope to promote social innovation as a form of economic development. The members of the Commission belonged to different for-profit and not-for-profit organisations working to advance the agenda of social entrepreneurship from Pakistan, Italy, UK and Australia. Their professional expertise ranged from technology, policy making, strategy development, academia, entrepreneurship, research and development, and poverty alleviation. Translating the basic spirit of philanthropy into social business was one of the main areas of the study.
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