Often it’s useful to learn about successful social enterprises as role models for your own ideas. If you are thinking about what business to start, here are 3 social enterprise ideas from Pakistan, a country in South Asia, nearby Afghanistan and India.
1. YES Social Enterprise in Pakistan
The Youth Engagement Services (YES) is a network dedicated to funding social enterprise in Pakistan. Specifically, YES looks to fund micro social enterprises which are created and run by disadvantaged youth in the country.
The goal is to turn alienated young people into socially engaged entrepreneurs who are active in their communities, with a vested interest in working for positive development. Most of the population of Pakistan is currently age 30 or younger, so reaching out to this sector of the society is crucial to the future of the country.
Pakistan currently lacks enough support services to help these young people develop their potential and contribute to their communities in positive ways. YES network reaches out to young people with a focus on ways they can contribute to economic growth in the country, which in turn lowers rates of violence and terrorism.
2. Kashf Pakistan Microfinance
Kashf means “miracle” or “revelation” in the native language of Pakistan. The Kashf Foundation began operating in 1996 in the area of Pakistan microfinance in order to aid the poor women living in the Lahore area. The first round of microcredit from Kashf was given out to 15 women who used it to start up small businesses which generated income for themselves and their families.
Since that time, the client base of Kashf has expanded rapidly and currently reaches over 60,000. They continue to focus on the unique needs of women in Pakistan via a unique economic empowerment program which includes both financial assistance and non financial services as well.
The foundation operates in a sustainable manner and has developed a reputation as one of the top microfinance funders in the country.
3. Jassar Farms Social Business in Pakistan
Jassar Farms is a social business in Pakistan founded by a graduate of one of the most elite universities in the country. Shahzad Iqbal quit his job in banking to move to a small village in Narowal and get into the dairy farming business.
He focused his years of business school training on his new business and organized Jassar Farms into a corporate structure and found ways of increasing the average milk yield of each of his cows. The average milk yield of cows in Pakistan is 4 liters of milk daily, which is far lower than the average of 33 liters per day produced by cows in developed countries.
Rather than paying thousands of dollars per cow to import them from the US or Australia, Shahzad began using artificial insemination to crossbreed elite bulls with local cows. Hopefully, these examples of businesses have given you some food for thought when you reflect on what business to start.