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Social Entrepreneurship is one of the Way Forward to Youth Empowerment in Pakistan.

Byline: Aliya Khalid and Amir Zada Asad

Social Entrepreneurship is deemed to be the most rapidly advancing field in the context of social development, yet still manages to remain an issue without much level of comprehension attached to it in the region of Pakistan. Out of all the resources that exist in Pakistan, Youth is probably the most underrated and ignored of them all. The majority of our nation's population is comprised of these young people. However, it is an unfortunate occurrence that the youth of Pakistan are not engaged in society in a manner that can be viewed as active for the development of community. The present research has assessed the influence that youth development programs have imparted on Social Entrepreneurial intentions of Youth that have been pragmatically applied through Technical and Vocational Institutions situated within the area of Punjab. Mix methodologies have been used for conducting theresearch. The region where the study was conducted is the province of Punjab, Pakistan.

Qualitative data through interviews have been obtained from six respondents that hailed from the agencies or organizations that dealt with implementation of social entrepreneurial programs relative to youth across Punjab. These respondents' organizations were a mixture of public and private sector. Quantitative and qualitative data have been analyzed and presented. The data supported the idea That social entrepreneurship through TEVTA has a profound positive effects on the social, economic, and psychological well-being of the youth under gone the training .it impacted youth on many folds i.e. it has imparted business mind set while fostering entrepreneurial skills at the same time this experience has raise their socio economic status .potentials capabilities and skills learnt by youth SE ventures , resultantly ,lead them to be empowered and become a change maker not in their own lives but they can play very effective and active role in nation building.

Pakistan is a developing country with problems like with mounting challenges call for a sustainable solution in which youth constituting about 35% of population can be of utmost importance. Its undeniable and prominent contribution can strengthen the country, steer it towards prosperity and raise it to be at par with international standards. However, unfortunately the situation isn't so bright in Pakistan. Despite 50% of Pakistan's population being Young people with ages between 16-30 years. there has been little to no viable endeavor initiated for utilizing this huge potential. As a result, Pakistan lags far behind in the race for prominence within this global arena of nations.

The most pressing reason for this predicament is the fact that Pakistan's youth is gradually losing their national pride and exhibit no interest in extending their efforts for the prosperity and development of their country. This can be owed to the fact that a vast majority of Pakistan's youth is distraught with the country of their birth and wish to escape to foreign, more developed regions. As a result, most of their energies are focused towards securing their position in a country abroad. (Iqbal, 2017)

Pakistan is in dire need to strengthen and reinforce its economy to counter problems socio economic problems like low standard of living, unemployment, advent of new diseases, illiteracy, environmental deterioration. However the most preeminent problem is unemployment that takes precedence over other challenges. According to Labor Force Survey of Pakistan (2010-11), official rate of unemployment is 6% within the country. According to the 2017 Census conducted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the population of Pakistan is around 210 to 220 million (19 Crore) and Youth constitute a prominent and major portion of this population and the fact that about 71.8 percent of the latter is comprised of Youth is testament to this statement.. However, these official statistics don't evince the camouflaged underemployment and gross unpaid employment within the country.

According to ILO, there is a severe need for increasing opportunities relevant to Employment for these youth so as to absorb the 2 million new labor market applicants that are being produced annually.

Pakistan is wholly committed to the MDGs, towards that end, much effort has been initiated in the country concerned for producing a strong, multifaceted and competitive economy. This is being achieved through the development of MSMEs or Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises so as to better deal with the trials of the global as well as regional economy.(Olomi and Sinyamule, 2009).

According to Kurato (2005), Entrepreneurship is a factor that has been touted to be the most effectual and boosting agent for the economy and relative development of countries over the course of many years. In fact, it has been argued by Pitt away and Cop in 2008 that the inexorable nature of entrepreneurship in accentuating a country's economy growth has led to creation of policies that uphold and promote Entrepreneurship through approaches like propagation of EET, or Entrepreneurship Education and Training. (Gorman et al, 1997 and Solomon et al, 2002). Especially in developed countries, along with many other developing countries, the number of programs pertaining to entrepreneurship education has increased exponentially because they recognize the importance these programs entail in regard to national development and growth (Kuratko and Brockhaus).

In Pakistan public sector ratio of employment is 7-8% of the entire labor force . The only option therefore available to Pakistan for boosting the economy is to force fiscal activity within the private sector through initiation of effectual entrepreneurship endeavors of small and medium scales. This can be achieved by making available the necessary resources to the youth of Pakistan who may then enter the labor market through potent entrepreneurial ventures.

That is why the promotion of entrepreneurship within Pakistan possesses its own level of importance. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's 2010 report, Pakistan is far behind in the list for successful start-ups, reason is that the majority of youth that graduate from Pakistan's universities opt for locating a job in lieu of scanning career opportunities within the entrepreneurial realm. However, according to the World Bank Even those youth who opt to adopt paid employment mostly face problems while locating a job, receive inadequate remuneration, or end up in informal or causal professions. (Rana, 2012) . Fostering of sustainable and effective Entrepreneurial intent amongst the youth of Pakistan through coordinated efforts of the Government and the private sector can the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem flourish within Pakistan which will eventually lead to Pakistan becoming the next "Startup Hub" in Asia. (Qadeer, 2017).

In order to ensure that Pakistan can cater the challenges and hindrances that currently impede its growth it is of crucial significance that the Youth of Pakistan be informed and be actively involved in entrepreneurial ventures. This will allow for a realization on part of the country's youth regarding their untapped, latent potential but will also culminate in a more stable and financially secure Pakistan.

Policy makers across the globe are striving to utilize social entrepreneurship as a conduit for mitigation in poverty and social change within the developing as well as underdeveloped countries. According to a report by World Bank ,in order to enhance mitigation of poverty and economic progression, investment in youth is perhaps the most unprecedented of opportunities. Social Entrepreneurs are tactfully and subtly encouraging and donating towards the global aims of poverty and hunger reduction.

In Pakistan, there is very meager concept and understanding of social entrepreneurship . Different models of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises are being operated by non-governmental organizations and private companies within Pakistan though on a very small unrecognized skill.

There is tremendous potential for social entrepreneurship in Pakistan due to its large number of needs which can't be dealt through simple market means. There is need to seek out novel and effectual solutions and that is where Youth Social Entrepreneurship program steps in. It is a welfare program which requires citizen participation in development of welfare based activities rather than reliance on the archaic and governmental aid based outlets. According to Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC), "30 million youth between the ages of 15-29 years form 30% of the Punjab population, out of which 15 million youth is unemployed and Government alone cannot resolve this problem31".

While youth of Pakistan are fascinated with socio economic development, they are unable to contribute in a worthwhile manner due to absence of a vital "foot step', pertinent opportunities and lack of awareness. The Planning Commission of Pakistan has also realized that the Youth Social Entrepreneurship can be a promising plan for youth and for the overall socio-economic development of the country

Social Change and social value is the core of any social entrepreneurial enterprise and as it is evident as well as proven, these are the main components for bringing about positive social change in the society and by relation the world as a whole. That is why Social Entrepreneurship evinces such palpable levels of importance within the modern economical world of present. (Zoltan J. Acsr, 2011)


As mentioned afore, youth comprise a major and palpable portion of Pakistan's population. It is also the unfortunate reality that this eminent portion of Pakistan's population remains largely underutilized. The opportunities or vacancies pertaining to various vocations are largely insufficient for Pakistan's perennially growing population. This interprets to the fact that the young denizens of Pakistan remain largely unemployed and are rendered incapable of securing any adequate means for financial support. In order to allay this unrest and assuage the predicaments of Pakistan's youth, the promotion and reinforcement of Entrepreneurship as a viable option for employment is imperative. The research in question will go a long way towards shedding light on the significance of Entrepreneurship for the youth of today and how it can in turn be instrumental in accentuating the rate of development pertinent to them (the youth) which in turn will bolster the economy as well, a fact that is tacit.

This research will be facilitative for those endeavors that are directed towards deciding whether if there is a requirement for integration of entrepreneurship into the scope for prospective employment by the youth of Pakistan. This will allow youth of the country to better participate in the development of economy and national prestige.


The objective of the study is to gauge that how ventures of social entrepreneurship has impacted "youth" who have gone through these ventures and how participation in SE ventures has empowered youth economically, socially and psychologically ?


An amalgamation of quantitative and qualitative method was utilized in this research. Quantitative data was gleaned from the youth studying in vocational and technical education institutions to whom a course on social entrepreneurship was taught and they gone through ventures of social entrepreneurship in their communities .more over the teachers /instructors in these institutions who took training of social entrepreneurship and then launched these ventures in technical education institutes were resorted to find out their insight on the subject sighted above.

Through the key informants of the study, i.e. those who have been engaged in launching and implementing social entrepreneurship in development and public sector, data was collected.

Results and Discussion:

After the introduction of the Social Entrepreneurship program, about 98% of the teachers present in the study perceived a salubrious change in the students. When probed about the nature of positive transition that emerged within students, 25% were of the view that students started taking interest in their studies, 27.42% were of the opinion that they acquired sufficient social entrepreneurial skills, while 14.52% and 15.48% observed social changes in the students. These changes were congruent with sentiments of becoming more open to business as a viable source of income and valuing social cause.

This shows that in relation to capacity enhancement, growth boost and competitive spirit, social entrepreneurship possesses the best progressive influence. Social entrepreneurship helps a person to play his dynamic role within a society by acquiring milestones in adolescent development which in turn equip an individual with the necessary skills.

When the youth were inquired about the type or nature of the entrepreneurial skills that they learnt, 57.7% confessed that they acquired communication skills, 55.1% viewed it as training regarding accentuation of business skills, 27.8% deemed it to be team building skills, 40.4% regarded them as planning skills, 22.5% considered them to be business relations skills and 25% considered it to be networking skills of the social sort.

The Social Entrepreneurship ventures have induced a sentiment of obligation in the young people so as to allow them to donate to the programs of nation building.

Skills of the Entrepreneurial sort and personal potential development were the first tenets learned by those youth. To increase income and earnings of youth through entrepreneurial training were the major impacts determined by respondents for youth in particular for those who are at a risk of being excluded on an economic and social level. The fact that the generic skills learnt by youth in technical educational are not demand driven resultantly youth experiencing less opportunities of empowerment but also end up being 86% less developed in personal potentials. Social entrepreneurship on the other hand affords these youth the chance to learn and earn by themselves. (Delgado, 2004) Social Entrepreneurship imparts to its disciples the mindset necessary for becoming efficient businessmen and women in their own ventures. This is indeed the need of the current era and the youth of today. Personal development of the youth is a requisite for ensuring the total development and welfare of the whole community.

When inquired, about 93% of the respondents confessed to having their economic standing elevated as a ramification of participating in social entrepreneurship program. They further commented, that this program had a positive effect on their psyche and personality as well. Social Entrepreneurship acts as a most profound force for change and development in pertinence to learning skills and increasing advantageous potentials within youth. It allows for development of youth on a resource based, mobilization that in turn entails economic growth and social development.

The majority of the young individuals, about 97.9%, were of the view that social entrepreneurship elevated their status amongst family and friends on a social basis. This shows that Social Entrepreneurship is instrumental in raising the skills of Youth to a point that they become self-sufficient in terms of monetary gain. This subsequently entails elevation of their social status amongst friends, family and society in general. This program holds special significance for a country like Pakistan where it is the need of the time to engage youth in meaningful and advantageous activities.

68.2% of the respondents said that they experienced an elevation in entrepreneurial skill when the question of impacts regarding social entrepreneurship was posed. Besides this, 49.60% cited social entrepreneurship as being the motivator for seeking out new ventures for battling demands of life and 44.60% were of the view that they experienced a positive enhancement of confidence pertaining to undertaking initiatives for setting up a business.

24.4% of the respondents were of the opinion that they had now become more obligated and responsible towards community causes and as far as devising new creative enterprises goes, 19.9% also acknowledged it.

When inquired about the special and certain contribution that social entrepreneurship has imparted to youth from an economic standing, 100% of the respondents were of the view that this venture of social entrepreneurship did indeed contribute to the economic condition in a positive manner. 52.2% of these respondents were of the opinion that this venture allowed for accentuation of entrepreneurial abilities, while 25% were of the view that it assisted in generation of income. 25% of the respondents stated that this venture built upon teams a sense of social responsibility. This shows that entrepreneurship does indeed succeed in bringing about a change that is optimistic and opulent from all integral aspects. When the participants were asked about the impact of Social Entrepreneurship initiatives upon youth from a social standing or perspective, three eminent classes of feedback or answers were recorded with equal percentage (about 50%).

These were constituted of public relations, business based on values and sense of belongingness in a community. Recognition of the social kind, sense of social obligation and acknowledgement about the role played by community development formed the rest of theprominent contributions recognized by youth .It can be said that Social Entrepreneurship imparts quite an effect on the psyche of youth as it is comprised of the attributes and qualities necessary for converting them into a better person with better understanding and skills that are necessary for succeeding in society.

Major effects upon youth, from a psychological predication, from the survey were enhanced self-confidence (46.2%), improved skills in communication ( 28.9%) and 28% respondents accepting social entrepreneurship's role as a teacher off civic sense of obligation. 23% of the respondents found it to be a source for increasing productivity and creativity while 19.9% declared as an enabler and elevator for dedication pertaining to social causes.

Lerner (2005) discovered that youth are not problems or predicaments that require management or amelioration. Rather, they are the resources that possess the potential for alleviating their problems and evoking development of their communities. By adopting said method, a young person can attain real growth of the personality.

Social Entrepreneurship among youth can be utilized as a source for solving problems in the society and for increasing the pace of social change in our country, with youth assuming the major responsibility. Youth are the latent and unutilized resource of our country. They are ignored and often dismissed as being trivial and are considered as predicaments .If youth apply themselves to the betterment of community, then much good and positive reform can be attained in a relative short span of time.


This study shows that Social entrepreneurship programs have been effectual in playing a major function in enhancement of the skills of entrepreneurship that the youth of Pakistan evince.

Both society and youth of an underdeveloped country that is bereft of the facilities pertaining to Social Entrepreneurship suffer greatly. As is apparent by the data gleaned from this study, social entrepreneurship was instrumental in bringing about development in pertinence to social vision of youth that were undergoing studies at Vocational Training Institutes.

These young respondents managed to learn about adaptation and belongingness to community, developed a sense of social obligation, and development of community from the courses of Social Entrepreneurship. This ultimately culminated in these respondents managing to master the skill of public relations as well. With Social Entrepreneurship, these respondents managed to not only alter their mindset for the better, but also managed to acquire the skills necessary for launching Social Entrepreneurship ventures that allowed them to establish new and innovative means for acquiring income and monetary profit, thereby providing a most effective solution for their social problems.

It was said as a statement on Youth at the world summit for sustainable development held in Johannesburg, South Africa that: "See young people as a resource, not as a problem," A youth that has been empowered is a means of upcoming leadership, that can lead their communities, societies and overall countries towards welfare and excellence, solely through the conduit of social entrepreneurship and youth strengthening. Youth Social Entrepreneurship has been deemed as being the empowering factor for youth in aspects of skills, ability and overall confidence by the majority of the respondents. It assists to accentuate significant and important skills of life that are advantageous for the personal development and community roles .YSE is strengthening youth to function as a major participatory force within society.

Social Entrepreneurship was recognized as a highly investing, energizing and strengthening force for usage in an enterprise. It enabled youth through provision of skills in business. It makes certain that empowerment on the economic level among youth is ensured through the methodology of inducing youth with resourcefulness, productivity and effectiveness. Social Entrepreneurship is a method of mainstreaming for youth. Nurturing business mind set and business skills among youth is an eminent ramification of Social Entrepreneurship which leads them to become initiators of change. Youth engaged in Social Entrepreneurship programs have magnified portraits of their personalities, and also elevated potentials and participation in community development programs.


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Publication:Journal of Pakistan Vision
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 20, 2019
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