272 start-ups graduate from NIC
Start-ups numbering 272 have graduated from Ignite’s National Incubation Centre with total investment commitment of Rs8 billion and cumulative revenue of Rs3 billion, said Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque.
Speaking at the “Accelerator Programme for Women Entrepreneurs” on Monday, the minister highlighted that those nascent companies had created more than 100,000 new jobs in the last three and a half years.
“These numbers quantify the achievements of our five incubators in a short span of time,” the minister remarked.
Haque pointed out that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) and its tech innovation arm Ignite had recently launched Pakistan’s first national investment platform, ie “PakImpactinvest”.
He underlined that “Covid-19 played a catalyst role for the start-up landscape in Pakistan, which saw investments rise to $350 million in 2021 as compared to $65 million in 2020”.
The minister said that extended lockdowns and quarantines provided entrepreneurs the opportunity to create digital products with human impact.
“The government has allowed holding shares in start-ups outside of Pakistan, thus helping to push foreign investment,” said Haque.
He highlighted that the gender gap in start-up funding was quite prominent in Pakistan’s ecosystem.
According to the 2018-19 deal flow figures, of the funding raised by female-led companies, 63% came via angel investment and 25% was from development programmes.
He declared access to early-stage and growth-stage capital as one of the key challenges for the new technology-based start-ups.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2022.