We have all heard this phrase countless times regarding the Pakistani youth, “There is an abundance of talent in the young generation of Pakistan and they simply lack the opportunities to make the best use of their potential.” However, simply identifying the problem and not finding a solution to it will not be enough. We do indeed have a lot of potential and passion in our youth, and providing them with better opportunities to utilize their talent would definitely be the best way to go for them. The youth of Pakistan have always been in the spotlight for their brilliance, tremendous amount of talent, and outstanding performances in various fields of life. Be it physical science, technology, social science, arts or medical, our young generation are breaking through social and cultural barriers, and reaping the fruit of success through their diligence and determination. They are bringing great pride to their country all around the globe.
6 Young Entrepreneurs of Pakistan
Here we are going to share with you some inspirational stories of some brilliant young entrepreneurs of Pakistan, who conquered their fears and faced every challenge on their journey to success with determination and courage. Hence today, they are a source of great inspiration for not only other Pakistanis, but for people all around the world who are striving to make their dreams a reality.
1- Khalida Brohi
Khalida Brohi is a Pakistani youth activist for feminine rights and a social entrepreneur. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Sughar Program in Pakistan. At the age of 16, Khalida witnessed the honor killing of a close friend who had chosen to marry someone of her own choice, without her family’s approval. This experience had inspired her to come up with the idea for the Sughar Empowerment Society, a non-profit social enterprise in Pakistan, with the aim of providing opportunities to rural and tribal women to develop their skills, as well as acquire leadership skills to enable them to survive independently. Through Sughar, Khalida aims to eradicate the custom of honor killing, by promoting beautiful traditions and by providing socio-economic empowerment to women. She declares that the word “Sughar”, meaning a skilled and confident woman, should be used for every woman around Pakistan, as each of them possesses both these qualities, and they only need the opportunity to unleash their undiscovered potential. Khalida became a dedicated entrepreneur at the age of 22, and has also been awarded the Young Champion Award by the University of Singapore, and the Fellowship Award by YouthActionNet®.
2- Amir Rao
Amir Rao is the Co-founder of Supergiant Games and co-creator of Bastion, an action role-playing video game, which has sold over 2.2 million copies since 2011 and won several awards at international competitions. At Supergiant, he has the job of content designing for the studio’s games and management of daily operations. Amir used to work at Electronic Arts Los Angeles as a game designer, having worked on numerous popular games, such as Tiberium Wars, Red Alert 3. Uprising, and Commander’s Challenge. Amir is the very definition of a dedicated person, who possesses the drive to use his talent and skill for the purpose of bringing innovative technology to the world of entertainment. He is highly committed to ensuring good quality of products and working with his team to produce the best possible results. He was also featured in Forbes, under the top 30 tech entrepreneurs of 2014.
3- Noorain Khan
Noorain Khan is a Rhodes scholar, a SOROS Fellow at Yale Law School, and has a specialization in M&A, Corporate Governance, debt offerings and funds practice at Fords Foundation. Noorain is responsible for strategy preparation, as well as management of the grant-making portfolio of the foundation’s President. Previously, Noorain was the Chief of Staff to Wendy Kopp, CEO and Co- founder of Teach for All, a global network of independent social enterprises, which aims for the promotion of educational opportunities in their countries. Teach for All aspires to achieve this goal by enlisting talented future leaders into its program. Noorain has travelled abroad with the US State Department to serve as a speaker about Islam in the U.S Former stints at Goldman Sachs, Google, and the Department of Justice. She also serves on the board of Girl Scouts of the USA, Association of American Rhodes Scholars, and Libraries Without Borders, with whom she has worked alongside on a number of projects.
4- Muhammad Adnan Butt
Muhammad Adnan Butt is the founder of Mvergence Media, a marketing agency operating in Pakistan, which offers marketing solutions and social network application development. He is an engineer from Ghulam Ishaq Khan University. Adnan is also the founder of Walnut Media, a media and PR company. This startup has delivered one of the top 20 social media campaigns in the world (Facebook Studio award winner, 2013), and is ranked among the top Fortune 500 companies and FMCG giants. Currently, Walnut Media has a partnership with some of the best creative platforms in the world, Cannes Lions and Eurobest. Adnan aspires for Walnut Media to evolve into the largest independent platform for content production, for independent musicians and artists. He has been awarded as the youngest Tech entrepreneur in Shell Live Wire, Global Hall of Fame. He envisions to become a role model for people who dream big. Adnan is a living example of the fact that unparalleled determination and diligence towards achieving your goal can really work wonders for you in your life.
5- Kalsoom Lakhani
Kalsoom Lakhani is the founder and CEO of Invest2Innovate (i2i), which is Pakistan’s premier accelerator for social impact startups. Invest2Innovate supports startup communities in growth markets, as well as the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem. It also serves to strengthen access to capital in growth markets and Insight, which provides detailed analysis of data, to provide a deeper understanding of the startup communities. They have been operational in Pakistan since 2011. Kalsoom has also provided extensive training to several young entrepreneurs, change makers, and civil society leaders in Ireland, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. She has also served as the keynote speaker for several international forums, including the World Economic Forum, U.S. State Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
6- Gulraiz Khan
Gulraiz Khan is a self-made entrepreneur and a graduate in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He is the founder of café Samovar Coffee and Tea House, an outdoor café at Karachi’s port. The purpose of this café is to connect open spaces, perfect for stimulating discussion with the feeling of travelling. As Gulraiz had spent several evenings at cafes in Berlin, Paris and Istanbul, he longed for relaxing open spaces in his home city. He felt that cafes in Karachi were below the mark, as they placed their emphasis on coffee, a non-native beverage, which is expensive and unsuitable for the climate of Pakistan. He also felt that there was an entire world of tea that our largely tea-consuming nation had yet to explore. Gulraiz’s café helped him to receive the top prize at the Shell Tameer Awards, which are given in recognition for young Pakistani entrepreneurs and their successful achievements in the world of innovation.
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