“The One Billion Dollar” question in Pakistan these days is – how to make the PM Youth Business Loan Scheme successful. Keeping in view of the plight of previous loan schemes such as PM’s Yellow Taxi Scheme, a number of people are quite skeptical about its success.
On the other hand, the government has already imposed strenuous, stringent and severe conditions for the guarantors by making them ‘jointly and severally liable’ for the defaulters. A number of government ministers have already claimed in media that not even the PM’s ‘SIFAARISH’ will let any non-deserving applicant get these loans. If we believe all these ministers that under the chairpersonship of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, only those deserving candidates will be granted these loans, who have good intentions to pay back these loans, if they are able to make enough money from their new business.
Let’s assume that the government is running this scheme with positive intention to grant these loans only to deserving applicants. But who are those ‘deserving’ candidates who will make it successful. Using my extensive research on this subject, and practical hands-on experience of working in numerous countries, I would like to present the following essential ingredients for a successful PM Youth Business Loan Scheme:
- An “Integrated Approach” to Business Development
This approach serves two purposes: First, it acts as a filter to identify the genuineness and readiness of potential youth to take the entrepreneurial leap. Second, it enables these young people to plan their business effectively and efficiently by minimizing the failure risks.
- Online Business Training and Knowledge Portal
For every potential entrepreneur, there should be an online portal for business training and knowledge. Even if you are unable to give loan to everyone, at least you will give them awareness and knowledge to ‘create their own world’.
- Development of Indigenous Training Material
Indigenous problems – local examples – national language – Indigenous solutions
There’s a need to design, develop and deliver material in simple Urdu language so that even un-educated youth can also benefit from it.
- Development of a Manual/Reference Book for Potential Youth Entrepreneurs
A reference manual/book should be written in simple Urdu with layman terminologies and language.
- Training of Trainers
At least 100 trainers should be trained all over Pakistan using latest pedagogies available emphasising upon learning for ‘Enterprise development and Entrepreneurship’. These trainings should emphasise on creativity, innovation, idea generation and opportunity recognition.
- Series of Trainings all over Pakistan
These trainings should be conducted, at least once a month in every district of Pakistan for 5-10 days as a pre-requisite for securing these loans. The graduates preparing a genuine business plan as a result of this training will become eligible for loans.
- Mentorship Programme for Youth
Local business persons should be encouraged to mentor loan grantees in every district of Pakistan.
I have already started working on the development of a reference manual/book in simple Urdu language and will present it to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chairperson Ms Maryam Nawaz Sharif (as a gift to my motherland-Pakistan) for free distribution to all the loan applicants/recipients. The book will be published within a couple of weeks. I would welcome your suggestions, feedback and comments in this regard.