To celebrate Pakistan Day, our CEO Will Straw looks back on his recent visit to the country
It was inspiring to visit Pakistan earlier this month with International Programme Manager, Zahid Mahmood, where we had the pleasure of meeting young people from schools in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi who are taking part in our Enterprise Challenge programme.
Enterprise Challenge Pakistan is a joint initiative from Prince’s Trust International and SEED Ventures. The programme enables small teams of school students to learn practical business skills through coaching, mentoring and an online business simulation game.
During our school visits, we met with a number of finalists from the programme who had all worked in teams to build business ideas as part of the competition.
One group of finalists presented their business idea which aims to up-cycle and resell used clothing in the Dhoke Chudrian region of Rawalpindi. Due to the poverty in the area, there is a strong need among young people to be enterprise-minded with some already expressing the desire to recycle in order to make money. Enterprise Challenge Pakistan provides a skillset to strengthen what they already do, giving young people the tools to succeed.
I am delighted to announce that, following a retendering process, we will be continuing to partner with SEED Ventures for the delivery of the programme in Pakistan. This has been a hugely impactful partnership and I’m excited that young people across the country will continue to benefit from this collaboration.
In addition to visiting students from the Enterprise Challenge programme, we met with so many other brilliant people engaged in our mission to support young people to build their own futures. We spent time at the Indus Hospital in Karachi where we are working to build a new partnership to deliver a Get Into Healthcare programme that will support young people on a pathway to work in hospital as nursing assistants. We were also encouraged by discussions with the Karachi School of Business and Leadership, and Pakistan Stock Exchange.
Aside from key partners and brilliant young people, we were also grateful to meet with Youth Minister, Usman Dar, and Education Minister, Shafqat Mahmood, to discuss the growth of our programmes in Pakistan and the need to continue to build employment skills for young people which is a key tenet of the government’s Kamyab Jawan programme (meaning ‘successful youth’).
As we continue to expand our work in Pakistan, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the brilliant young people building fantastic futures for themselves and their communities, as well as thank our incredible partners and supporters helping to tackle the urgent crisis of youth unemployment.