Four social enterprises have emerged victorious from the first cohort of the UNDP-Jazz’s SDG Bootcamps for Social Enterprises.. Overall, 70 social enterprises from across Pakistan participated in the first cohort with over 40 percent participation by women.
The winning social enterprises include Digital Libas, an initiative from Balochistan providing skilled women workers with the opportunity to become financially independent; Sukoon, a health-tech initiative from Punjab aiming to revolutionize mental health care; Asani.io, an IoT and automation based social enterprise from Sindh working on solving water scarcity and mismanagement issues; and Peshawar Waste Management Company from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a social enterprise working towards building sustainable communities by converting daily waste into natural fertilizers.
Thirteen of the total participants were from Balochistan, 19 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17 from Sindh and 21 from Punjab. Held online, these five-day bootcamps aimed at capacity building essential for enterprise market success and outreach. These bootcamps also managed to attract participants from some of the country’s most remote areas i.e., Bhurewala, Mastung, Naushki, Pishin, Bajaur, Jamshoro and Bahauddin.
Knut Ostby, Resident Representative UNDP Pakistan, said at the conclusion of the first cohort, “UNDP is proud to work with Jazz to support nascent social enterprises in Pakistan. We hope our SDG Bootcamps will help these young entrepreneurs play a vital role in addressing the development challenges of the country to ensure that we Leave No One Behind.”
Syed Fakhar Ahmed, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer, Jazz stated, “As a technology-driven company, our focus remains on digitally enabling the masses, especially the youth and women. We hope the social enterprises part of the first cohort have gained valuable knowledge on scaling up their innovative solutions. Wishing them luck on their respective journeys, we look forward to the second cohort to be conducted later this year.”
These five-day bootcamps, organized by School of Leadership Foundation (SoLF), were led by master trainers and covered a wide array of modules including Branding and Customer Engagement, Marketing and Digital Transformation, and Financial Management, Feasibility and Scaling. On the final day of each regional bootcamp, the social enterprises pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges of industry experts.
The winner of the national bootcamp, planned later this year, will be provided with an opportunity to join Youth Co:Lab, the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in Asia and the Pacific along with access to mentorship opportunities and exclusive digital giveaways by Jazz.
These bootcamps are a part of the agreement inked between Jazz and UNDP in December 2020. The program comprises overall 20 bootcamps nationwide by December 2022 targeting close to 800 youngsters and 50 percent women participation. The aim is to promote promising social ventures that are addressing the country’s developmental challenges.