A delegation of young and aspiring entrepreneurs, lead by the Young Entrepreneurs Forum of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has returned home after attending the CAAYE Summit in Mumbai. This delegation which was a cross representation of entrepreneurs from across Pakistan, with delegates from Punjab, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, and Sindh, made their mark during the proceedings of the Summit. CAAYE (Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs) which is the a Commonwealth Secretariat supported initiative represents 8 countries from the Commonwealth Asia region, namely Malaysia, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Maldives. The focus of this year’s Summit was to share best practices and prepare recommendations for improving “access to finance” to young entrepreneurs.
Nearly 200 delegates from the 8 countries met for 3 days in Mumbai towards networking, building business linkages, conduct field studies, attend learning sessions and jointly prepare a set of recommendations to improve the ecosystem of youth entrepreneurship in the form of an official communiqué that will be submitted to member Governments through the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Speakers at the event included leaders such as Mr Kamalesh Sharma – Secretary General – Commonwealth Secretariat, London, R. Gopalkrishnan, Director – Tata Sons, Nita Chowdhury, Secretary – Youth Affairs at Ministry of Youth Affairs India, and Katherine Ellis, Director-Youth Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat London. Pakistani delegation members Ms. Noor Aftab, Ms. Khadija Mushtaq were also powerful speakers at the event.
Another reason to make Pakistan proud was the Official Social Media campaign of the entire event was managed by a member of YEF, Mr. Adnan Shahid, who made great strides in ensuring the CAAYE Summit presence across the social media.
Delegates visited the Mumbai Dabbawalas that have a Six Sigma quality certificate and were a case study at Harvard Business School titled, "The Dabbawala System: On Time Delivery, Every Time,". They also have a global business fan club that includes Prince Charles and Mr Richard Branson, who even worked as a Dabbawala for a day. Other visits included the manufacturing sector like auto giant Mahindra and Mahindra, and Reliance Studios.
Speaking at the occasion, leader of the Pakistan delegation and Chairman Young Entrepreneurs Forum Mr. Shaban Khalid expressed the need to remove all unnecessary regulations and barriers that hinder smooth flows of communication, trade and people to people connections. He stated that it was high time that the countries realized the richness of resources available with the region, including the youth, which should be channelized to create value to the people of these nations, including the youth.
At the end of the last day, the flag of the Commonwealth was handed over to Pakistan, which will host the next Summit at Islamabad in June.