Entrepreneurship included as compulsory subject in NSC

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

LAHORE: Entrepreneurship has been included in the National Single Curriculum as a compulsory subject for grades 9-12 to develop the country as an enterprising nation.

Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Farhan Aziz Khawaja addressing as keynote speaker at International See Pakistan conference organised by Association of Private Sector Universities of Pakistan (APSUP) the other day at Expo Centre, said that inclusion of Entrepreneurship will help to promote entrepreneurship culture in our society, right from the school level. In tandem, entrepreneurship is also being inculcated in our students through encouraging sports entrepreneurship in the lines of the professionally managed football leagues around the world. SMEDA’s Sports Industries Development Center (SDIC) is leading this effort with pioneering work in Sialkot, he added.

SMEDA CEO emphasised that women entrepreneurship was important for Pakistan’s economy for several reasons, particularly because given their share of the total population i.e., 48.7%, the country ranks abysmally much lower on the Global Gender Gap Index at 145 out of 146 countries. As per the recent estimates, there are around 3.2 million women engaged in entrepreneurial activities which if given equal participation can be increased significantly and add up to $28 trillion or 26% to our annual GDP by 2025, he said, adding that at present our female work force participation stands at 21.4% which must reach at least 45% to meet the country’s growth targets and foster a more dynamic and sustainable economy. He informed that SMEDA was working to formulate an exclusive Women Entrepreneurship Policy and Action Plan in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank.

This programme aims to establish women-centred legal and regulatory frameworks, enhance gender-responsive credit delivery, and improve women entrepreneurship skills and opportunities, he said.

SMEDA CEO invited students of the universities to avail the handholding service of SMEDA for implementation of their innovative business projects.

He said that it was dedicated to promoting e-commerce startups and connecting SMEs to local and global markets. Through competitive engagement with Business Development Service Providers, SMEDA offers online training and incubation support for e-commerce business development, he added.