Incubating Potential – Grass-root Entrepreneurs

There are two very important segments of entrepreneurs that need structured processes to mushroom, flourish and expand: startups and grass root entrepreneurs (GREs). While some promising activity has been witnessed for support of startups recently, there haven’t been any significant or substantial endeavours to uplift the microenterprise sector that exists in the country. After an extensive research on grassroot entrepreneurs was conducted through one of the brand programs ‘PEMS – Potential Enterprise Mapping Strategy’ by SEED, a training programme for grass root entrepreneurs was developed. The fact that the issues that these GREs face and what keeps them from scaling up are different in different parts of the country made us realize that it would not be possible to address these with a generic curriculum. Hence Incubating potential Program (IPP) and PEMS Training Program (PTP) were developed keeping in mind the different environments, problems and relevant stakeholders for each area. Separate programs were created for rural areas of the country, urban centres and urban slums.

It is important to realize that these GREs form a large part of our population and if helped and guided to scale up, have the potential of impacting our GDP. Incubating Potential Program is being implemented in two incubation centres that we have initiated in specific urban slums of Karachi that are ridden with violence and conflict. This program will also create avenues for young boys to earn a living for themselves and their families, while the existing GREs will be able to expand their enterprises once they apply what they are being taught during this programme. These incubation centres are the first of the many that will be created as part of a network of incubation centres for grass-root entrepreneurs throughout the country. We do not believe in working in isolation and have created a platform at SEED that would bring all those working for the promotion of entrepreneurship at various levels. At the same time, when those who have the same mandate as we do cross our path, we combine efforts to move forth as a strong force.

Entrepreneurship whether it is at startup level or grassroot, seasoned or serial, is a challenging yet rewarding road should one opt to take it. With the correct approach to help it flourish and with support from the private sector, development sector and the government bodies, it has the capacity to herald the winds of change.

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