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CIPE Leading Practices Contest, 2012 October 07, 2012
ICCI gets 2nd place in CIPE Leading Practices Contest, 2012 for its initiatives of 
Policy Advocacy for Youth Entrepreneurship

The problem:
Pakistan is a country of burgeoning young people as almost 60 percent of the population is below 30 years of age. While unemployment in the country continues to rise, it is not possible for the government to provide jobs to this huge mass of youth in the public sector.

The Practice:
The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) is the first Chamber of Commerce in Pakistan that took initiatives for Youth Development and promotion of Entrepreneurship. A Young Entrepreneurs Forum was created to motivate youth towards entrepreneurship so that youngsters could enter the mainstream business world, embark on an entrepreneurial career, and contribute positively to developing the national economy. To achieve this purpose, ICCI held youth forums, conferences, roundtables, and mentorship training programs in which a large number of university students, policymakers, and academicians participated to deliberate on issues with particular focus on entrepreneurship development. A draft National Youth Policy was also discussed in detail with focus on entrepreneurship, microfinance, skill development and internship. The participants came up with many ideas and suggestions for providing youth opportunities to enter the entrepreneurial world and play their role in development. Recommendations were also distributed to relevant public forums for consideration and positive outcome.

Strong linkages have been developed with important local universities and colleges to promote entrepreneurship. Our Chamber is also creating links with international youth groups and forums through youth exchange programs. We are sure this strong networking will provide youth with excellent opportunities for sharing innovative ideas and learning best practices for entrepreneurship development. Cultural exchange programs are also undertaken to understand culture and develop people to people contact.

·  The ICCI Youth Conference developed various recommendations that were incorporated in the National Youth Policy of the Government of Pakistan.
·  Ministry of Youth Affairs has conferred Jinnah Youth Award and cash prize to ICCI on International Youth Day for promoting entrepreneurship culture among youth and taking effective initiatives for youth development.
· The effort ensured significant representation of youth in the Executive Committee/Board that comes through a democratic election process.
·   Formation of Young Entrepreneurs Forum with a continuously growing membership.
·  Links between youth groups of local Chambers across the country have been created resulting in visible participation of youth in business associations’ activities and exchange.
·  The Entrepreneurship Development Center has been established and interaction with the universities has increased as groups of students regularly visit the Chamber to receive guidance on starting a business venture and the business process.
·  Through the Export Display Center, which will be completed within a year, incubation centers shall be established to develop new entrepreneurs.
·    Businessmen provide internships for university students so that they may experience the entrepreneurial culture.
·    Businessmen are now being encouraged to provide financial support for good business projects that are selected in business plan competitions.

ICCI Collaborators and MoU Signing Organizations