By Adnan Ali
According to Forbes, the average age of starting one’s own businesses is 29 years. However, in our country, almost every entrepreneurial venture is looked at with skepticism. Maybe it is because we don’t believe in the success of such initiatives and opt for the safer route of working for a company that is already in business? Or maybe we doubt that a youngster, with a brilliant idea and the determination to take it forward, can’t execute it properly?
But why is there such a prevalent disbelief in the entrepreneurial skills of our youth? One of the reasons can be that in our society, we don’t often share success stories. We usually ascribe success to the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, while completely overlooking the success stories around us. We don’t even know our local heroes. We never hear or read about them. We never promote them. We never teach their stories to our kids.
And even when these budding entrepreneurs are able to breakthrough, their efforts often go unnoticed. Currently, you may find the likes of Jang, one of the largest media groups in the country, promoting some initiatives and the likes of Urdu Digest publishing some success stories, however, majority of the success stories never get told. Telling these success stories and turning entrepreneurs into heroes will only inspire others and produce more entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is high time we realize the importance of bringing forth such stories, otherwise success will become an obscure concept, and all we will be left with is failure!
Another reason for this prevalent disbelief in our youth’s entrepreneurial abilities is the absence of breeding grounds for them, where they could test and subsequently prove their abilities. If you look at the current trend of the budding entrepreneurs, a vast majority of them come from prestigious institutions like LUMS, IBA, GIKI, etc. One hardly sees a student coming from other institutions. What is it about these institutions that inculcate this entrepreneur spirit in the students? What is it about these institutions that they become the breeding grounds of the young, fearless entrepreneurs? Is it the curriculum? The faculty? The pedagogy? The environment?
Maybe it is the combination of them all. While the curriculum of these institutions maybe similar to that of others, it is the practical experience that the students get along with the theoretical knowledge that makes them different from their peers. The students are encouraged by their professors (who, by the way, are often experienced practitioners themselves) to implement the theoretical knowledge they gain in the classroom to the world around them in the form of industry-based practical projects. The entire environment is focused on encouraging the students to engage with the world around them and understand the industry trends. However, such institutions are limited; therefore not all aspiring entrepreneurs get the chance to prove their mettle and earn the support for their entrepreneurial endeavors.
As a result, in our society it is generally observed that for youngsters coming from a family of salaries professionals it is very difficult to present his/her business idea and get unconditional support from them. Therefore, if you have any entrepreneurial idea which you want to take forward, prepare yourself for a long road ahead and know that there are going to be doubters and skeptics along the way, but keep in mind that for a startup to start is a great success itself!