Four social enterprises emerged victorious from the first cohort of UNDP-Jazz SDG Bootcamps for Social Enterprises. Overall, 70 social enterprises from all over Pakistan participated in the first cohort with over 40 percent female participation.
Winning social enterprises include Digital Libas, an initiative from Balochistan offering skilled workers the opportunity to become financially independent; Sukoon, a Punjabi health technology initiative aimed at revolutionizing mental health care; Asani.io, a social enterprise based on IoT and Sindh automation that works to solve the problems of water scarcity and mismanagement; and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Peshawar Waste Management Company, a social enterprise that works to build sustainable communities by converting everyday waste into natural fertilizers.
Thirteen of the participants in total were from Balochistan, 19 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17 from Sindh and 21 from Punjab. Held online, these five-day boot camps aim to build the capacity essential for business success and market awareness. These training camps have also been successful in attracting participants from some of the more remote areas of the country, namely Bhurewala, Mastung, Naushki, Pishin, Bajaur, Jamshoro and Bahauddin.
Knut Ostby, UNDP Resident Representative in Pakistan, said at the end of the first cohort, âUNDP is proud to work with Jazz to support emerging social enterprises in Pakistan. We hope that our SDG Bootcamps will help these young entrepreneurs play a vital role in solving the country’s development challenges to ensure that we leave no one behind.
Syed Fakhar Ahmed, Director of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Jazz said: âAs a technology-driven company, our focus remains to empower the digital masses, especially young people and women. We hope that the social enterprises in the first cohort have gained valuable knowledge about scaling their innovative solutions. Wishing them good luck on their respective journeys, we look forward to the second cohort to be conducted later this year. “
These five-day bootcamps, hosted by the School of Leadership Foundation (SoLF), were led by master trainers and covered a wide range of modules, including branding and customer engagement, marketing and digital transformation, and financial management, feasibility and scale-up. On the last day of each regional bootcamp, social enterprises presented their business ideas to a panel of industry expert judges.
The winner of the national bootcamp, slated for later this year, will have the opportunity to join Youth Co: Lab, the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in Asia and the Pacific, as well as access to mentoring opportunities and to exclusive digital gifts from Jazz.
These bootcamps are part of the agreement signed between Jazz and UNDP in December 2020. The program includes a total of 20 bootcamps nationwide by December 2022 targeting nearly 800 young people and 50% women. The objective is to promote promising social enterprises that respond to the country’s development challenges.
Registrations for the second cohort are now open https://bit.ly/3tHwqTu.