When young people embrace their creativity, they think differently, learn to move with ideas and create new ones. This makes them better problem solvers and better innovators. A key to unlocking creative thinking is encouraging young innovators by giving them a platform to explore their imagination.
Recently, the finale of the Shell Tameer Awards 2021, a nationwide contest, was held at Shell House to recognise the best and brightest young entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The event was attended by prominent business leaders and professionals from the industry and existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. The event was live-streamed for audiences across the country.
This year, 125 applications were received for the awards programme and 20 finalists were shortlisted in six award categories. The winners were: For ‘Circular Economy’, Anusha Fatima – TrashIt, a tech-based waste recycling start-up enabling communities to reduce their waste footprint. For ‘Clean Energy Solutions’, Osama Shakeel – Enent, a clean tech start-up focused on designing innovative electrical load management products that can reduce electricity bills and power loss up to 20%. For ‘Empowering Women’, Alveena Sohail – Civixa, a women-led start-up providing AI based data management solutions to help organisations achieve their business objectives through a data-driven approach. For ‘Technology Innovation’, Ansab Naqvi – Asani.io, a technology innovator providing water management solutions to households and industries through their smart app and IoT based technology.
For ‘Transport & Mobility’, Mohammed Ahmed – Elixis, a young innovator promoting sustainable mobility through locally-built electric bicycles to help reduce pollution. For ‘Bright Idea’, Hafiz Sheikh Umer Farooq – Boltay Huroof, a tech-based social enterprise aimed at improving accessibility and digital inclusion for the blind and low-vision community through their braille translation software. The runners-up were: International Services Pak, Renew Power Projects, Beetee, CricFlex, vCarpool and Eco Stabilizer.
As part of the event, a panel discussion followed on ‘The role of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in shaping the future of Pakistan’, covering the benefits of having a youthful population in Pakistan, the government starting structured incubators and introducing three-year tax relief for start-ups, and how the private sector has a key role to play in the start-up ecosystem. Moderated by Sidra Iqbal, the panel of experts comprised; CEO & MD of Shell Pakistan Limited Haroon Rashid, Chairman & CEO of Unilever Pakistan Limited Amir Paracha, CEO of Dawood Hercules Group Inam ur Rahman and Chairman NCCPL Humayun Bashir.
“It is encouraging to see many young innovators enthusiastic to help solve diverse and important issues that challenge our country. We are proud of the winners today and feel honoured to be part of their journey towards sustainable businesses, social change and progress of our nation. We prioritise and invest in our flagship programme for enterprise development, that aims to strengthen local economies,” shared Haroon Rashid.
Since the launch of these awards in 2003, 86 Pakistani entrepreneurs have won and received seed capital and media recognition. 10 Pakistani entrepreneurs won International Trade Grants worth PKR 3.8 million to visit seven countries and expand their market globally. Nine entrepreneurs won the global ‘Top Ten Innovators Awards’ worth PKR 10.4 million receiving global and national recognition.
– A. Jafri