11 September 2020
Ten youth-led social enterprises in Pakistan have won a grant to scale their innovative solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Impact Link: Social Enterprise Challenge 2020.
A collaboration between the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA), the Scottish Government and Youth Co: Lab, an initiative co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation, the programme is delivered in Pakistan by UNDP Pakistan, Social Enterprise Academy Pakistan, DEMO and SEED Ventures.
The challenge is part of the Scotland: Pakistan Impact Link programme, supported by the Scottish Government, which is now in its second year.
Twenty five participants have so far taken part in a five-day virtual bootcamp to help increase their business resilience and sustainability. This bootcamp was then followed by a pitching day, where participants were given the opportunity to pitch their social enterprises to a panel of judges from SEA, SEED Ventures, UNDP, DEMO and the wider ecosystem.
The five winners announced below will receive a grant of PKR 820,000 (£3,840) from the Scottish Government, while the five runners-up will receive a grant of PKR 480,000 (£2,248) from Youth Co:Lab to upscale their ideas. All ten Impact Link Fellows will also progress to the mentoring stage of the programme, where they will have access to a Global Mentor Lab, with mentors from Pakistan, Scotland and across the globe.
The 2020 Impact Link Fellows below were selected based on their potential for sustained social impact, positive response to Covid-19 and demonstration of a successful economic model.
The five Scottish Government-funded Fellows are:
- Saro Imran: Trans Welfare Foundation
- Javeria Binte Shakeel: ENENT
- Abrahim Shah: Mobiliti
- Musa Aamir: Rizq
- Mohyuddin Qadir: Teleport
The five Youth Co:Lab-funded Fellows are:
- Arhum Ishtiaq: ConnectHear
- Ali Yar: Mohafiz – Life Saving App
- Shahzad Younas: EyeAutomate
- Shirin Mehri: Green Box
- Laraib Abid: Flare of MASHAL
A special mention was also given to Karishma Ali of Chitral Women’s Handicraft Center, who will receive in-kind support through international mentoring.
Laura Sheridan, Programme Manager, Youth Empowerment Programme, at UNDP Pakistan said:
“With support from Youth Co:Lab, UNDP Pakistan’s collaboration with SEA’s Impact Link programme has been fruitful in engaging youth in social enterprise development and enabling youth to meaningfully engage in initiatives that are working on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan, especially during these challenging times. We look forward to continuing this collaboration in creating spaces that value the participation, ideas, and voice of young people.”
Shaista Ayesha, Hub Manager at Social Enterprise Academy Pakistan and CEO of SEED Ventures said:
“The Impact Link Social Enterprise Challenge 2020, a collaborative effort of SEA Pakistan (powered by SEED) , UNDP, and Youth Co:Lab signifies the importance of institutions working together to further the cause of social entrepreneurship in Pakistan. The realisation of the SDGs through youth potential can only be made possible if they are provided with platforms like this challenge. We hope and look forward to growing this collaboration from a national to a global level challenge.”
Muhammad Bin Masood, Chief Executive Officer, DEMO said:
“It's remarkable to see UNDP, Youth Co:lab, Social Enterprise Academy, SEED and Scottish Government come together behind a mission to support social enterprises collectively as a team. DEMO has been fortunate enough to bring all of these partners on the same page and then execute the online bootcamp for 25 startups. The experience has been quite enlightening as we have seen phenomenal engagement in the session throughout the 5 days and we are humbled to be supporting them in these challenging times.”
Abrahim Shah of Mobiiti, Impact Link Fellow 2020, said:
“This event helped us understand what to do to improve our leadership qualities, marketing strategy and business plan and pitches. In short it was a complete package of improving ourselves and our social enterprises.”
To find out more about this year’s Fellows or the 2020 Impact Link: Social Enterprise Challenge, please visit: