Wadhwani Foundation’s flagship initiative, National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) is launched in Pakistan to provide a systematic and structured strategy towards building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country. Over the last decade, NEN has demonstrated a highly successful model that promotes entrepreneurship through both creating and supporting entrepreneurs, and facilitating job creation in the process. With a network of over 600 colleges, 4000 mentors and 3200 faculty, NEN has resulted in 2,000 new startups and is now tracking 1,500+ new companies each year.
The scalable model of NEN, its resources and IP are contextualized for emerging economies like Pakistan and deployment of these will facilitate development of entrepreneurship. Currently entrepreneurship development programs in Pakistan are gaining momentum through a network of E-Cells in several universities and a repository of mentors & supportive organizations, but are in need of streamlined and structured efforts for greater impact and addressing the prevailing investment gap due to dearth of venture capitalists and angels.
NEN has partnered with MIT Enterprise Forum of Pakistan (MITEFP), Karachi, LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE), Lahore and OPEN Karachi for bringing together the right stakeholders in the country including the government, academic institutions, entrepreneurs and associations to enhance the resources and connectedness of the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
For the past few years, entrepreneurial activities have been gaining momentum in Pakistan. MITEFP has been promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Pakistan along with the help of several organizations, E-Cells, funding agencies and the Ministry while LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) has been formalizing institutional support for entrepreneurship with the aim of becoming the largest breeding ground for sustainable, high-growth, high-impact ventures in Pakistan. OPEN Karachi has also been trying to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem by training and encouraging entrepreneurs through domestic and international programs, varying from seminars and conferences to immersive workshops. However, with efforts being fragmented and rudimentary, OPEN, LCE and MITEF realized that a more effective and co-ordinated structure needed to be put in place. NEN will play a key role in harnessing the country’s innovation and entrepreneurial potential across various stakeholders - entrepreneurs, students, educators, mentors, and investors.
NEN’s resources and various capacity programs along with the network and experience of MITEF, OPEN and LCE is expected to scale the number of entrepreneurs and innovators in Pakistan, and inculcate investors in the ecosystem.
1. Workshop – Student Entrepreneur
2. Workshop – NEN E Leader Development Program
3. Videos on Entrepreneurship: For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
4. Platforms – TATA First Dot Powered by NEN
5. Platforms – Entrepreneurship Week India
6. Platforms – Entrepreneur Academy
7. Webinars, Bootcamps, Mentoring Clinics, Events
1. Mentoring Clinics
3. Network Forums – Access to Industry and Expert Networks
4. Dedicated Programs – Dream to Destination
5. Dedicated Programs – NEN-SAP Emerging Entrepreneur Mentoring Program
7. Platforms – Entrepreneur Academy
1. Consulting Support – Developing Advanced Infrastructure : Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres
2. Consulting Support – Developing Mentoring Units
3. Faculty Development
4. Impact Measurement : InCapMe (Institutional Capacity Measurement System)
5. Consulting Support – Incubator Support
6. Platforms – Entrepreneurship Education Conclave and Awards
1. How to launch a campus company program - A how to guide
2. Faculty development course portfolio: Building world class entrepreneurship educators and mentors
3. An NEN White Paper - Guidelines for Metrics and Milestones for Successful Incubator Development
4. Success Stories
5. Student venture mentoring unit - A how to guide
Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation
“Wadhwani Foundation for over a decade has pursued its mission of economic development in emerging economies by creating millions of jobs through promoting entrepreneurial and employment skills and driving policy changes to jump-start economic opportunities. It gives me great pleasure that the Foundation’s flagship initiative, National Entrepreneurship Network is now expanding its network and capacity building model to Pakistan. I am confident that this will greatly enhance the entrepreneurial opportunities in Pakistan. We hope that by sharing our IP, resources and experiences; and forging strong and deep partnerships we will play a key role in contributing to the economic growth of Pakistan.”
Dr. Zahir Ali Syed, Co – Chairman, MITEFP
“MITEF focuses on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Pakistan through various programs, competitions and opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs. Although MITEF has established a credible network of E-Cells in several universities, and a repository of mentors and supportive organizations, our efforts need to be streamlined for greater impact. There is also a significant lag in investment due to dearth of venture capitalists and angels. NEN’s decade-long experience in creating an entrepreneurial eco-system in academia, developing an exhaustive knowledge bank and supporting emerging entrepreneurs across a vast network of educators, mentors, investors and organizations will help build the entrepreneurial capacity of our ecosystem right from the university level. NEN’s resources will also help us set up an organized structure of inculcating investors in the ecosystem.”
Sunita Singh, Co-Founder NEN and Vice President, Wadhwani Foundation
“NEN has a rich history of creating and supporting entrepreneurs and innovators leading to job creation. One of the salient features of NEN’s resources and IP is that they are contextualized for emerging economies and deployment of these is critical to scaling our efforts and impact across the globe. At the same time in each nation we have the opportunity to develop more nuanced approaches and content which increases the effectiveness of the Wadhwani Foundation’s work with entrepreneurs. Our partnership with MITEF and LCE will enable us to bring together the right stakeholders in Pakistan including the government, academic institutions, entrepreneurs and associations to enhance the resources and connectedness of the eco-system. We hope to leverage the Wadhwani Foundation technology platforms for aspiring and new entrepreneurs to help scale support for entrepreneurs to the different parts of Pakistan thereby supporting and harnessing the country’s innovation and entrepreneurial potential.”
Khurram Zafar, Executive Director, LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship
“LUMS has led the charge in imparting the best education in Pakistan and going forward we want to chart the path for an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country. LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) is envisioned as the largest breeding ground for high impact business ventures in the nation and the university is already working to build capacity at other educational institutions to promote entrepreneurship. We therefore welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Wadhwani Foundation and its endeavor to build the National Entrepreneurship Network in Pakistan based on the model evolved in India.”