The U.S. Embassy Islamabad celebrated 59 successful Pakistani entrepreneurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Together, these 59 grant recipients are on track to create 3,552 new full-time jobs, generate $21 million in revenue, and leverage $4.8 million in private sector investment. At a virtual event today, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recognized the successful participants who utilized Challenge Fund grants to create innovative, sustainable, and scalable business solutions for the challenges facing Pakistani small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
USAID funding and support helped the entrepreneurs overcome challenges, secure private sector funding, and strengthen their businesses over the past four years. Entrepreneurship and innovation help boost employment, productivity, and trade, and can drive a nation’s economy.
During the event, entrepreneurs discussed the challenges and opportunities for establishing and growing successful businesses in Pakistan. One of USAID’s grantees, Ubaid Ullah, co-founder of Darewro Delivery Services, said, “The USAID grant enabled us to develop sophisticated technologies to serve communities that were previously inaccessible. For example, we were able to help more than 100 women-led businesses, generate 78 new jobs, and onboard more than 500 micro-SMEs. The grant also enabled us to become the largest delivery-on-demand service in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the only one in the Newly Merged Districts.”
“I am happy to see that USAID’s Small and Medium Enterprise Activity grants and business development programs have transformed ideas into profitable realities and innovative solutions,” said USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen. “Global Entrepreneurship Week reminds us that growing the economy and creating employment opportunities for youth can be achieved by unleashing the energy of young, innovative entrepreneurs. I’m looking forward to seeing many more innovative startups scale up with funding received through this program.”
USAID supports private sector-led economic growth in Pakistan to help create jobs, foster entrepreneurship, and increase economic opportunities. As a part of the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to helping Pakistanis secure a more prosperous future, the Small and Medium Enterprise Activity is working to improve the environment for private sector-led growth and strengthen the financial and operational performance of enterprises.