LAUNCH CEREMONY OF THE FATA ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION PROGRAM INCUBATION SERVICES.
DATE: 30 JANUARY 2020 A Business Incubation Programme for the youth of the Newly Merged Districts was launched in Islamabad . Representatives of USAID, UNDP, Bahria University, International Islamic University, and youth from newly merged districts attended the ceremony where Senator Sitara Ayaz was the chief guest. Under this programme, one-month business incubation services will be provided to 180 talented entrepreneurs, including 54 women, from Khyber, North and South Waziristan districts. The training component of the programme offers numerous hands-on, practical workshops in key areas of knowledge including various business models, sales, marketing, and finance. The programme also includes motivational sessions with leading trainers, experts and professionals in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, followed by a grant after approval of the entrepreneurs’ business ideas. USAID representative Ms. Sharon Lazich, Acting Director, KP-FATA office said that this initiative will result in economic growth of region and will provide jobs to youth. She also appreciated efforts of Bahria University and International Islamic University for their active contribution. Ms. Tanya Rzehak from UNDP Pakistan said UNDP has assisted more than 80,000 people from merged districts since 2015, this initiative will enable youth to play constructive role in development of merged districts. Chief Guest of the ceremony, Senator Sitara Ayaz expressed gratitude to USAID, UNDP, Islamic International University and Bahria University for this excellent initiative. While addressing the ceremony she said Pakistan is facing number of challenges including unemployment. Encouraging our youth for entrepreneurship especially from Tribal areas will bring prosperity to the region. She motivated and encouraged young entrepreneurs to actively participate in business activities and contribute in economic development of Pakistan. While speaking at occasion Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat HI(M), Rector Bahria University Islamabad, said “Universities are playing a key role in nurturing entrepreneurs and leaders by fostering on ethos that engages the next generation of innovators and disrupters of Pakistan. He further added “Bahria Innovation Centre is committed towards building a strong entrepreneurial eco-system for nurturing innovation for Start-ups in Pakistan”. Earlier, Prof. Dr. Shehzad Khalid Head of Research, Innovation & Commercialization Office Bahria University briefed the audience about salient features of the project and its output in terms of Business Models and economic development. A part of the USAID funded FATA Economic Revitalization Programme (FERP), this activity is being implemented by Bahria University and International Islamic University in partnership with UNDP. FERP aims to provide sustainable livelihood and income generating opportunities to returnees, leading to long-term economic growth and contributing to resilience and economic revitalization of Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).