ICCI Youth Initiative

ICCI and CIPE collaboration for entrepreneurship development for youth:

Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with CIPE successfully undertook several initiatives working on Youth issues particularly with focus on entrepreneurship development because entrepreneurship offers an essential avenue for young people to support themselves and their families, prosper in business career, provide employment to others, and play a part in strengthening their country’s economy. This was the first ever project undertaken by any Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Pakistan, which from different segments brought together youth at one platform to discuss various issues for entrepreneurship development. This initiative of ICCI greatly motivated youth as result of which they actively started participating in various youth related activities of the Chamber.

Events and Conferences

Youth Forums:

ICCI held two youth forums, in which a large number of young business professionals and students participated and deliberated on many aspects of youth with particular focus on entrepreneurship development. They came up with many innovative ideas and suggestions about how youth can play an important role in nation building if provided with an enabling business environment for launch of business ventures.

National Youth Conference:

In 2008 ICCI in collaboration with Ministry of Youth Affairs and CIPE organized a National Youth Conference which brought together 130 students and young entrepreneurs across the country to provide direct feedback to policymakers on formulation of the National Youth Policy. In the conference following four important areas of the draft National Youth Policy were discussed:-

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Skill Development
  • Micro Finance
  • Internships

Secretary Ministry of Youth Affairs was also invited at the conference who highly appreciated the initiative of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry for holding the conference and discussing the important elements of the draft National Youth Policy. He also assured for incorporation of various recommendations discussed in that conference in the National Youth Policy of Pakistan.

Business Development Plan Competitions:

YEF in partnership with various organizations and universities have held Business Plan Competitions where potential investors and professionals from various business disciplines were invited to assess business plans, apprise the participants of their strengths and weaknesses. Award money was also given out at some of these Competitions. Institutes and schools that YEF partnered with for these competitions include:

  • Ministry of Youth Affairs (National Business Plan Competition)
  • Preston University
  • NUST Business School

In 2009, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry held a Business Development Plan Competition at ICCI in collaboration with National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in which students of MBA gave presentations on following 11 innovative projects and floated new ideas for starting various kinds of business activities:-

  • Funeral services
  • Women transport
  • Women clothing
  • Home delivery services of food items
  • Oxygen bars
  • Consultancy services for students’ career counseling (2-projects)
  • Unique Business cards
  • Car repair and maintenance shop with unique idea
  • Fruity expressions
  • Use of innovative tools for the Improve of resource management in hotels

In this competition, CEOs of multinational companies were also invited, who greatly appreciated initiative of ICCI and NUST.

Global Entrepreneurship Week – Pakistan:

Young Entrepreneurs Forum (YEF) of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (a group of young entrepreneurs) In collaboration with Kauffman Foundations organized a one day seminar on Nov: 15, 2011 to celebrate the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad, titled “Inspiring a New Wave of Entrepreneurs”. The event brought together young entrepreneurs, students from academia, corporate leaders, media, NGOs, donor organizations, Government institutions and Think Tanks, focusing on Entrepreneurial education, Technology for promoting entrepreneurship, Policy reforms, Role of Social entrepreneurship in business development.

Young Entrepreneurs Conference 2012:

On March 27, 2012, the Young Entrepreneurs Forum (YEF) of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in partnership with US Embassy, USAID, CIPE and Junior Chamber International organized a Young Entrepreneurship Conference, titled “Inspiring a New Wave of Entrepreneurs” at Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad. The key objective of the conference was to start a wave of entrepreneurial development in the country by encouraging the potential entrepreneurs through technical assistance, mentoring and capacity building that would ultimately lead to positive contribution to the overall economy by creating job opportunities, revenue businesses as well as for the government. The basic aim of the conference was to stress upon various stakeholders towards the creation of a conducive and sustainable business environment in the country for the young entrepreneurs. Throughout the day, prominent speakers/entrepreneurs including Dr. Nadeem ul Haq Chairman Planning Commission, Mr. Asad Umer President Engro Corporation, Mr. Zafar Khan CEO Sofizar, Mr. Monis Rahman Chairman & CEO Naseeb Networks, Mr. A. Saman Dawood, CEO Cyan & Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Executive Director HEC held interactive discussions on social entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship and building bridges through diaspora business linkages. Besides that, the business leaders shared their inspiring success stories of building their business from the scratch and the failures they faced on the way. Further detail of the event is available at website: www.yec2012.com

Youth representation at various levels

Representation of Youth in the Executive Committee, standing committees of ICCI and government advisory boards/task force:

After participation in two Youth Forums and Youth Conference, young entrepreneurs started taking keen interest in various activities of ICCI. In 2008-09 elections of ICCI, 6 young entrepreneurs (25% of the Executive Committee) were elected as member of the Executive Committee, who played active role for the progress and promotion of youth oriented activities in the Chamber. ICCI recommended them on government advisory boards/tasks forces, where they are actively engaged in giving input on policy issues.

YEF member elected Senior Vice President, ICCI:

One of the major achievements of YEF was election of Mr.Shaban Khalid, as the Senior Vice President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was even entrusted to take on the role of Acting President for 2 months.

President Obama’s Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship:

One of the members of the YEF was chosen as one of the seven Pakistani delegates to President Obama’s Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship at Washington.

National Defense University (NDU):

A member of YEF was invited to speak to the students/participants of National Defense University to apprise them of various business and economic issues faced by the country.

Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services:

At a workshop jointly designed by UNDP and SDPI, Parliamentarians were briefed on Social Safety Nets and its implications to Pakistani society by a member of YEF

Pak-US Alumni Network’s Seminar: Job Seekers vs. Job Creators:

Participants of the seminar titled Youth Entrepreneurship for Global Leadership were apprised of challenges and opportunities faced by students who choose to be enterprising and venture out to start new businesses versus those who opt to seek jobs

Young Entrepreneurs (YEG) Pakistan Chapter:

This group is being created under the banner of the Young Entrepreneurs Group Asia-Pacific (YEGAP), which was created during the 68th CACCI Council meeting held in May 2004 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Memorandum of Understandings:

ICCI has also created a strong linkage with renowned universities in Islamabad, and they invite office bearers to give lectures to the students on entrepreneurship development. This arrangement really helps the students to know how to get into the business arena for self- sustainability and to contribute for the economic growth of the country.

Universities include:

NUST Business School

Preston University



Mentorship program:

Presentations on entrepreneurship development and role of youth are also organized at Chamber to provide mentorship to the students of various universities. Members of YEF have offered their services as mentors to students of various universities and have volunteered their time to either go to the campuses or to invite them to ICCI for inculcating in them an entrepreneurial mindset.

Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) at ICCI:

With the efforts of YEF, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has established Entrepreneurship Development

International Youth Exchange

Business Delegations to Europe and China:

To encourage trade and economic activity, promote better business practices, and to experience innovation firsthand, YEF members were invited on business delegations to Europe, and China. The delegates held meetings with renowned corporates including Volkswagen, Mittal group, JCI, etc.

Representation of ICCI at World Chamber Congress and other international programs:

Mr.Shaban Khalid, former Vice President of ICCI and a young & dynamic business professional along with Mr.Waqas Masud, former Chairman Youth Committee of ICCI participated in the World Chambers Congress in Malaysia in June 2009. They presented the following papers on:

  • ICCI initiative on Youth Development and leadership role of youth in ICCI
  • Good governance practices and sharing of information with the business leaders in the congress

In the congress about 900 delegates from 90 countries participated, and discussed many ideas about the leadership role of youth in the Chambers. Ministry of Youth Affairs selected young business entrepreneurs from Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, who successfully represented ICCI in the following workshops and programs in India and China:-

  • Commonwealth Asia Regional Capacity Building Workshop on Youth Entrepreneurship
  • 100-member Pak-China Youth Exchange Program

Young entrepreneurs exchange programs with foreign Chambers:

ICCI is developing a close and strong liaison with various chambers around the globe for the exchange of youth delegations and information. This strong networking will provide excellent opportunity of sharing innovative ideas and to learn the best practices of each other.

Other Awards and Achievements

Jinnah Youth Award:

Ministry of Youth Affairs has conferred Jinnah Youth Award and a cash prize to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry on International Youth Day for promoting Entrepreneurship culture and undertaking youth development activities.

Young Entrepreneurs Award at CACCI

YEF’s proposal was included amongst the finalists of the Young Entrepreneurs Award competition at Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Conference, Sri Lanka. CACCI is a confederation of 29 member countries.

YEF Social Media

Young Entrepreneurs Forum-Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yeficci?ref=ts