“Pakistan is one of those countries where the need for social entrepreneurs is indispensable. When we studied this segment of the youth – our ambitious students across hundreds of universities, we noticed that they faced some unique challenges. They are full of bright ideas that can change lives; however, they don’t have the proper training or platforms to bring those ideas to fruition. We want to challenge young people to solve the most pressing issues around them through social entrepreneurship and to develop their mindset towards it,” said Noman Azhar, Chief Officer- Zindigi when introducing the initiative and its vision to transform the entrepreneurship domain in Pakistan.
Zindigi Prize initiated by Zindigi (powered by JS Bank) is a year-long entrepreneurship program that aims to engage 100+ universities across Pakistan and will provide students with the opportunity to showcase their ideas, get mentorship from leading industry experts, learn new skills, network at startup events, and receive educational sponsorships. Starting with campus rounds where one winning team will be selected from each university to the Regional and finally National rounds. Zindigi Prize wants to create a community across Pakistan that will engage in exchanging ideas and dreams and work with the teams to make those dreams come to life.
The launch event was held at the National Incubation Center, Islamabad, and attended by Vice Chancellors from universities across Pakistan along with thought leaders from the startup and education sectors, including National Information and Technology Board (NITB), the Ministry of IT, and Special Technology Zones (STZA) who expressed their support for Zindigi’s mission of empowering Pakistani youth.
Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of Higher Education Commission (HEC) was Chief Guest at the event while Ms. Aisha Humera Chaudhry, Additional Secretary IT & Telecom, Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) attended as Guest of Honor.
Panel discussions were conducted at the event which included esteemed people from academia who expressed their views on the social entrepreneurship landscape in Pakistan and how to best enable the entrepreneurship spirit.
The first one titled “Social Entrepreneurship in Pakistan” included Dr Habib Bokhari (Vice Chancellor, KU Muree), Prof. Dr. Tahir Khan (Vice Chancellor, AUST), Dr. Shoab Khan (Chancellor, CASE), Ms Fajer Rabia Pasha (CEO, PAGE) and Air Cdre Afzaal Ahmed (Director ORIC). The second panel was titled Enabling the Entrepreneurial Spirit and included Dr Shahid Qureshi (Rector, GIFT University), Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar (Chairman Rastgar Group), Dr Athar Mahboob (Vice Chanellor, IU Bahawalpur), Mr Amer Hashmi (founder STZA), Dr Shazia Akhtar (Professor at SZABIST).
Zindigi powered by JS Bank is a digital banking initiative targeted towards Gen Z and millennials, who value their independence and want to control and operate things their way. Zindigi is a first-of-its-kind customizable mobile app with an ethos of giving full control of the digital bank to customers and the look and feel of their app. For more information, visit the link: www.zindigi.pk/
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This post is sponsored by JS Bank!
Cover image via JS Bank