The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) has entered into a large-scale partnership with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for an entrepreneurial education initiative, ‘KP Impact Challenge’. This is a landmark collaboration between LUMS and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The KP Impact Challenge would be first of its kind, government led initiative for a province-wide economic and social impact competition to promote youth entrepreneurship, innovation, and to provide economic opportunities for talented youth in KP. There are a number of unique features which make this program different from any other government led entrepreneurship initiative currently in existence. The existing incubation centers in Pakistan cater to the high end market. This means only those business ideas are provided with incubation space which promise a very high level of growth, profitability, scalability and nationwide outreach. Normally, only very small number of business ideas have these attributes along with an experienced team. A large portion of Pakistan’s youth does not have the relevant exposure therefore their experience is also limited. This limitation serves as a major entry barrier for them to avail these services. The KP Impact Challenge caters to these individuals, i.e. lower-end of the market. Through this program, youth will be provided a training platform to transform their ideas into reality. The ventures under KP Impact Challenge will be driven by impact creation, which leads to economic well-being of the region and promote quality education and social-cultural aspects of KP. The scope of these ventures can be regional or community based, therefore making it accessible to the rural youth.
Another distinct feature of the KP Impact Challenge is the fact that grants are being awarded to the youth. The existing incubation platforms finance viable ventures through loans or a share in equity. These requirements serve as a drawback for the team executing the venture and also affects their bottom line. The grants model will provide an incentive to the youth of KP and encourage greater ownership of their ventures. Moreover, they will be provided with free of cost training by experts. These trainings will be specifically designed to cater to the needs of the KP youth and cover breath of topics relevant for a new venture. Support through these trainings will be provided throughout the initial three months of venture execution.
The KP Impact Challenge is centered specifically towards the rural youth of KP, who do not necessarily have a background in or exposure to how to run a business well. The youth for the purpose of this project is defines as individuals within age limits of 18 to 30 years. These participants of the KP Impact Challenge will drive KP into a new age of entrepreneurship and innovation and establish a new trend within their communities.
To ensure capacity build and transfer of knowledge, universities in KP are selected to serve as the satellite campuses. The identification will be based on university accessibility to young entrepreneurs from rural communities to attend the training sessions. At least two trainers/observers from these selected universities also attend the training. After their training, these trainer/observers conduct parallel sessions at Satellite campuses. The syllabus is provided by LUMS. The syllabus is developed in Urdu and can also be translated into Pushto if the needs assessment identifies such a requirement.
These trainers are deployed to select cohorts in the satellite campuses and monitored and intervened where necessary. Every effort is made to harmonize quality across the selected cohorts.