“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”– Scotty Behance
It sounds a big “Haww” moment, like too judgmental from our society, when it comes to an idea of a middle socio-economic quintile female engaged in her own entrepreneurial start-up. Leave the society alone for a moment, I myself and so were many of my friends were confused and unconvinced, when we were introduced the idea of attending business related workshop.
It was eye opening to learn about self-employment, during our introductory session of Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase (YES), implemented by Institute for Leadership through Education and Development (ILEAD), supported by the U.S. Embassy in partnership with the Pakistan – U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN). In that session, facilitated by Prem Sagar, Founder of ILEAD, we came across the magnitude of unemployment and scope of enterprise development. In that session, Mr. Prem also unfolded the concept of ILEAD, which is much more than just an abbreviation of organization, it is like saying to thyself in a confident way that, Yes…. I LEAD.
As our sessions progressed, I witnessed that our hesitation and confusion replaced with creativity, curiosity, sometimes nervousness of course, burning desire to do something differently and most importantly to realize our own dreams. I see this joint venture of ILEAD, PUAN and CAMS not as partnership for 16 sessions, market survey and a summit but; I consider this as pathway for accomplishments of dreams for more than 100 underserved girls.
Having gained the knowledge through sessions, improved skills by getting first-hand feedback from senior academicians and successful entrepreneurs, we are much ahead of the idea stage. Our business ideas are now the transformed and executable business plans “aka dream projects”. Our mentors, who are founders and CEOs of their respective ventures have made sure to cover all the minor and major details to make our idea as foolproof plan.
And, do you know, the cherry on the top was? An opportunity to not only participate in the Brilliant Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES2019) but confidently present your idea in front of more than 200 people, including the seasoned business people, academicians and enterprise gurus.
Shout outs, excitement, applause, recognition, rewards, networking, selfies, attitude, appreciation. YES2019 had all of this and much more. It was one of the life changing event for me and many of my friends at CAMS. Besides the fun part, YES2019, with its tremendous success, has opened the doors of opportunities for the young generation. Our joy reached to its limit, when we met Ms. Christina Tribble Cultural Affairs Head from U.S. Consulate Karachi and Honorable Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor, Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU). We had chance to receive certificate of recognition from both chief guests and indeed, lots of pictures.
Today, I feel much stronger, informed, motivated and empowered than before, and a lot of credit goes to our awesome principal Ms. Sara and entire team of IEAD and CAMS.
ILEAD inculcated the spirit of collective wisdom through knowledge exchange in me and now I am prepared to learn entrepreneurial approaches for my economic prosperity and social empowerment.
Kanwal Yasin, A proud learner of YES 2019 (Joint venture of ILEAD and CAMS)