WASHINGTON DC : “Pakistani young entrepreneurs are engines of growth and with their talent and expertise are the architects of the country’s bright future.” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States. “You are shaping the thriving startups ecosystem in Pakistan through your innovative and creative entrepreneurial potential.,” he continued.
“With the fifth largest population in the world, approaching 230 million, a median age of 22, one of the fastest -growing middle classes, more than 110 million mobile broadband subscribers, and a tech savvy young human capital, Pakistan provides ideal conditions for the US investors and entrepreneurs to explore, invest and expand their businesses.” he added.
Ambassador Masood Khan made these remarks while talking to a delegation of Pakistani Young Entrepreneurs who are currently visiting the United States on a State Department’s Professional Fellows Program (Entrepreneurship) in partnership with the University of Okhlamaha.
The program empowers, connects and supports the next generation of young entrepreneurs from the four South Asian emerging economies (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers.
The fellows work with entrepreneurs in Oklahoma who focus on the same business sectors as them and learn the best practices from each other. This year five (05) successful, creative, innovative Pakistani youth entrepreneurs were selected from Pakistan out of the total 20 participants from 04 different countries.
The delegation comprised of Ms. Yumna Iftikhar, Manager Business Incubation, Balochistan, Zeeshan Khan, Founder Celebrity Soul, Ms. Rabbia Iqbal, Senior Manager, Organizational Development & Total Rewards Jungu Tech Pvt., Ltd., Mr. Ali Bin Masood, CEO GOHO Rooms. These entrepreneurs were running hotel management, tourism, incubation and acceleration, B2B retail supply and travel blogging businesses.
The Ambassador congratulated young entrepreneurs on being selected for the program andgetting an opportunity to represent the country at an international stage.
He also appreciated the utility of such exchange programs and advised the participants to use the opportunity as a platform to further strengthen their networks and forge robust professional linkages.
Ambassador Masood Khan while highlighting the impressive performance of Pakistan’s exports to the US market, acknowledged that in the past 18 months, the Pakistan based tech startups alone have earned around $1.5 billion out of which 60% has been funded by US based Venture Capital firms primarily in San Francisco.
Top American Venture Capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, Tiger Global and Sequia have started funding Pakistan’s successful startups at the pre-seed, seed and incubation stages.
He emphasized the need for a continued Pakistan and the United States engagement to further promote trade and investment between the two countries as well as to enhance cooperation in the health, agriculture and tech sectors.
The Ambassador said that concerted efforts were being made to create strong linkages at all levels including government-to-government, business-to-business and most importantly people-to-people contacts.
Responding to the questions by the group, the Ambassador said that Pakistan is streamlining its tax system to attract more tech startups.
It was also taking additional steps to build tourism infrastructure sufficiently equipped to host foreign tourists. The Ambassador also identified several business opportunities for the entrepreneurs to link up with their potential counterparts.
The visit of Pakistani entrepreneurs took place at a time when the United States is celebrating National Entrepreneurship Month. President Biden in his proclamation said that during this month “we celebrate the doers, dreamers and job creators whose vision and grit fuel our economy.”