On November 12th, 2018; the National Incubation Center (NIC LUMS) alongside British Asian Trust (BAT) and Citi Foundation hosted the award and cheque distribution ceremony to mark the pilot of the Urban Youth Project.
Out of the 60 trained micro-entrepreneurs under this project, 13 were invited to the NIC facility to be given cheques ranging between 100,000 to 200,000. These micro-entrepreneurs included:
- Muhammad Faisal and his electricity store.
- Rabia Ashiq and her school.
- Shagufta Parveen and her academy.
- Salma Gilani and her academy.
- Muhammad Waqas and his mobile store.
- Shazia Zafeer and her school.
- Fatima Tabassum and her medical lab.
- Shahista Waheed and her school.
- Sidra Shehzadi and her beauty salon.
- Aneela Jaffer and her store.
- Hafiz Mudassar and his fast food chain.
- Huzan Arshad and his academy.
- Sheheryar Manzoor and his cosmetics and jewelry store.
The event was conducted at the National Incubation Center’s auditorium with more than a 100 guests from various institutes present to honor and commemorate the efforts of the young micro-entrepreneurs.
Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was present as the Chief Guest.
Director NIC, Faisal Sherjan addressed the audience and the media informing them of the inspiring and overwhelming experience of working with the micro-entrepreneurs. LUMS Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad spoke of the importance of empowering the youth; followed by a brief documentary that provided insight into the journey of these young minds.
Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, in his concluding remarks highlighted that through projects like UYP, LUMS NIC has contributed a great deal to ameliorating the circumstances of the youth and serving the bottom of the pyramid communities and that is bound to have lasting impact on the future of the country. He further, commented, “It is heartening to see the high results this group of entrepreneurs has delivered given the right mentorship and opportunity. I hope the British Asian Trust, Citi Foundation and NIC Lahore continue investing in Pakistan’s youth so they can fulfil their potential.”
The evening ended with dummy cheques being presented to the recipients as each recalled their excursion and shared anecdotes on how NIC contributed to their development.
It was an inspiring sight to behold as their hard work paid off in the form of an investment that allows the growth of not just their business but their self-worth and financial standing as well.
The National Incubation Center stands firm on the belief that those with a potential must be mentored to entrepreneurial heights. It recognizes dedication, conviction and the motivation the youth possesses and often struggles when looking for opportunities and platforms that would identify that eagerness and willingness to grow.
The Urban Youth Project is merely a stepping stone in the right direction to enable the youth for a brighter and more stable tomorrow.