Tag line: No Jobs in market? Be an Entrepreneur and create some!
‘Saturation’ is one of the most thought-of-words when students brainstorm to decide their future fields of studies in Pakistan. Abrupt boost of population and sudden invasion of private institutes has raised the graduates per year number to millions in engineering, medical and IT. Job market however, with its energy crisis and law & order situation is showing a negative slope. Graduates are compromising on low paid jobs while undergraduates suffer mild depression. Actions are definitely required from government but students also need to build broader insight towards employment.
Entrepreneurship is one solution. An entrepreneur, while building a business, creates income source for himself and many others on the way. The hurdle here is the idea of, “only money fetches money” which inculcates in youth, the fear of arranging a big capital to start business. The big news is that now you do not need a business tycoon father or a million dollar investment to construct a successful business. All you require is a good idea, passionate team of 3-4 members and exposure to such terms as ‘Incubator’, ‘Accelerator’ and ‘Startup’.
Incubator is a platform that helps you to build your nascent business i.e. Startup. Accelerator is yet another platform that accelerates your startup further, once it has been introduced in market. Some incubators and accelerators which you should have on your ‘to Google’ list are Social Innovation Lab, The Founders Institute, Plan9, PlanX, LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship, Telenor Velocity, NSpire, the Nest I/O and our own TICK and KICS. Incubators and Accelerators provide the startups with office space, mentorship, tech support and sometimes even a seed funding. Convo, Appography, EatOye, Popinjay, GearX and Cyphlon are some such startups.
Particularly Plan9, a Punjab Government funded incubator, under the supervision of Punjab Information Technology Board is providing startups with creative space in Arfa Software Technology Park, monthly stipend to each team member, work stations and connectivity with champion entrepreneurs around the globe. Founded in 2012, it has incubated over 1000 startups. If you have an idea for an amazing engineering device which people can benefit from, expert advice at Plan9 can turn it into a business product. You can make a product rather than project in your final year. You can also sell engineering services by building mobile apps and websites. An internship with Plan9 can help you understand how to pitch your idea. Later you can apply through the formal application procedure ‘Launch Pad Plan9’ to get your startup selected for incubation.
By availing such opportunities, engineers can escape fatality of unemployment and low incentive jobs. They can rather be employers than employees. The key, however, is to take calculated risks and explore other than ‘Strictly Engineering’ internships, activities and events.