In order to promote entrepreneurship in Pakistan, Ignite, formerly known as the National ICT R&D Fund Company has decided to launch the National Incubation Center in Quetta.
At present, there are more than 700 small and big businesses running in Pakistan. Most of these startups are in the big cities and there is less development in the smaller ones. Despite being the biggest city in Balochistan with a population of 1.1 million, Quetta has not been backed by services to promote such startups. Quetta is well known for its production of fruits and dry fruits. The city also facilitates trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan so it is expected that the people there have basic knowledge of business. With the development of the National Incubation Center, entrepreneurs will be provided with a platform to support them financially, provide them mentorship, and materialize their ideas.
Ignite is now looking for authorized companies who are willing to take the task of establishing and managing the National Incubation Center. These organizations can apply by submitting a request for proposal. However, there is a certain eligibility criterion for that. The companies interested in applying for the position must have the following qualities:
- The company must be listed on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)
- Company must have a good financial backup
- It must have a professional management team or it must have relevant experience in the ICT field
National Incubation Center in other cities
Ignite has already launched one National Incubation Center in Islamabad. In addition, three more are under development in Karachi, Peshawar, and Lahore. A list of organizations who will be establishing these incubation centers was also revealed by Ignite recently. The incubation center in Karachi will be established by TPL Trakker which is Pakistan’s largest tracking service provider. The Lahore NIC project was awarded to LUMS University. Finally, the project for NIC in Peshawar was won by LMKT which is an IT services provider. All of these organizations will be properly funded by Ignite in order to ensure smooth and stable development of NICs in the respective cities.
Role of Ignite in other areas
With the sole purpose of strengthening Pakistan’s economy, Ignite has been constantly promoting entrepreneurship along with research and development activities in the country. Recently, Ignite launched its new program called DigiSkills. The main purpose of this program was to train 1 million of the youth so they can achieve skills which will help them earn a livelihood through freelancing. Before that, the company launched a program to give entrepreneurship training to 500 women in Pakistan.
Another exhibition was conducted by Ignite a few months ago which was quite successful. The exhibition was conducted in Islamabad for Final Year Projects. The main organizer of the event was the National ICT Grassroots Research Initiative (NIGRI). The aim of the organization is to promote research and development culture in the country by providing funding to high-caliber projects.
Ignite has been quite successful in promoting entrepreneurship and providing research and development facilities in Pakistan. Furthermore, it is expected that this will provide long lasting benefits to the country.