Community Power: UNISAME Blueprint for SME Revival

Community Power: UNISAME Blueprint for SME Revival

In an impactful gathering hosted by the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME), leading SME experts and community leaders convened to discuss innovative strategies for accelerating SME growth in Pakistan from the grassroots level.

The session was marked by insightful proposals aiming to leverage both private and governmental support to tackle the socio-economic challenges faced by the nation.

The meeting, chaired by UNISAME’s president, Zulfikar Thaver, featured notable speakers including Shaukat Hassan, Shahid Badami, Hussain Ali, and Komail Hemani, who shared a common vision for fostering a robust economic environment through community-driven initiatives. Shaukat Hassan, serving as the keynote speaker, emphasized the critical need for collaborative efforts between the government and private sectors to utilize the untapped potential of community-based centers.

Hassan highlighted the impressive work done by various philanthropic communities in Karachi, such as the Khojas, the Bhora, and the Memon communities, which have successfully focused on providing essential services like education and healthcare. He proposed a model where these community efforts could be integrated into a formal scheme supported by both the government and private sectors through organizations like SMEDA and UNISAME. Such partnerships, he argued, would facilitate skill development and education programs that directly contribute to economic empowerment and uplift the entire community.

Focusing on practical solutions, Hassan suggested the IT sector as a particularly promising area for investment, noting the success stories from neighboring countries that have benefitted from prioritizing technology and skill development in their economic strategies.

Other speakers, including Shahid Badami and Hussain Ali, echoed the importance of education and skill development. Badami stressed the critical role of healthcare and looked forward to guidance from SMEDA and UNISAME in nurturing community initiatives. On the other hand, Ali proposed the establishment of dedicated SME desks in every community to ensure direct support and technical assistance, enabling youth to transition from basic jobs to skilled positions within their locales.

Komail Hemani advocated for a scientific approach to education and SME development, urging the implementation of systematic, data-driven strategies to maximize impact.

The conference concluded with a unanimous resolution urging policymakers to redefine the poverty line in a manner that is rational, just, and reflective of current economic realities, particularly inflation.

The participants, including the newly appointed CEO of SMEDA, Socrat Aman Rana, who received a warm welcome and assurance of support from Thaver, expressed optimism about the proposed strategies. The consensus pointed towards a future where community and government collaboration could serve as the cornerstone for fostering sustainable economic growth and social development across Pakistan.