Potential Enterprise Mapping Strategy (PEMS)

When we talk about untapped potential, we often forget our microenterprises operating in Pakistan and possessing the potential to contribute between $70-90 billion to the country’s GDP. However the owners of these small businesses are largely unaware of the fact that even at this scale, they can create a strong innovative business model and as a result, reap the benefits that come with it.

All around us, these small-scale enterprises including setups run by cobblers, carpenters, tailors, drycleaners, flower shops as well as thaylay wallas (street vendors/hawkers) and chai dhabas (tea houses), are operating and serving their customers on a daily basis.

Potential Enterprise Mapping Strategy (PEMS) started as a research project by SEED with a team of two young individuals Faizan Quadri and Talha Nadeem, who had a face-to-face interaction with 400 microenterprise owners during interviews designed to uncover the operational difficulties encountered, nature of business acumen possessed and the future potential growth of theses businesses. Although most of them keen to work hard and invest a lot of time and effort in their businesses, unfortunately a vast majority of these small business owners lack a long-term vision and find it difficult to stray from their day-to-day mechanical activities.

421468_301865763273914_1070427777_nHence, SEED brought forward PEMS, to unlock the hidden potential of these microenterprises and to bring about a change in their mindsets and revolutionize the business landscape overall. PEMS team has now developed a training programme not just for the microenterprise owners but also for those who might want to take this cause further by training these small-scale business owners themselves.

Any cause that is taken forward by a large segment of the society always has better and a more noticeable impact.  A forward-thinking model for this particular part of our working population and helping them stretch their minds beyond their short-term goals is the core of this initiative. It is important to understand that whatever information or knowledge that has been accumulated for this purpose, must be such that is easy for these microenterprise owners to process, make use of and restructure their enterprises.  It is not just them who will benefit form this exercise, but society at large and the economy of the country will also reap the fruit. Microenterprises form a large proportion of the country’s labour force mostly operating in the informal sector (outside the tax net). If these enterprises grow with time and start maintaining formal records and paying taxes, society as a whole will receive the benefit of a greater tax revenue and a more even distribution of the tax burden. Moreover, with the growth of these microenterprises, more employment opportunities will be created with an inevitable decline in street crime that is partly associated with the rise in unemployment. The dynamics of our economy can change to a large extent, provided we find innovative solutions to problems that we might have been oblivious to until now, and to implement these ideas with full force.

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