The Asia Foundation (TAF), in partnership with Teamup and National Incubation Center, has organized one of the biggest environment-based entrepreneurship challenges – Barhta Pakistan Ecopreneurship Challenge – in Islamabad.
The inaugural event, attended by Advisor to PM on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam and Minister for Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar, was aimed at promoting business ideas that can help solve Pakistan’s sustainable development challenges. The program was able to solicit more than 260 applications from across Pakistan, of which 10 best ideas were shortlisted to be presented at an event conducted at Marriott Islamabad. The shortlisted ideas represented geographic and gender diversity.
A team of independent judges evaluated all ten business ideas and Geo-Thermal Pakistan was voted as the best idea, winning PKR 250,000 in seed money.
“It was an extraordinary experience to be a part of this challenge. Presenting our idea to such an esteemed panel of judges was absolutely priceless. We are looking forward to Teaming up with the NIC so we can take our startup to the next level,” said Mr. Abdul Wahab, cofounder of the winning team.
First runner-up prize was awarded to Greenovation; a startup working in the clean energy space. The second runner-up was a social enterprise called We Are One who are aiming to solve plastic problem by introducing paper straws. The second and third winners were awarded with PKR 150,000 and PKR 100,000 seed money, respectively.
While giving his keynote, the Chief Guest Malik Amin Aslam – Advisor to PM on Climate Change – said,
Fighting climate change and saving the environment is one of the key mandates of the current government. We appreciate that the development sector and the startup ecosystem are working closely to build a safe, sustainable and healthy future for the next generation. I believe in our youth and I truly believe these initiatives will greatly help in leveraging technology and building Naya Pakistan.
Talking to the audience, The Asia Foundation’s acting country representative said
The Asia Foundation aims to catalyze social change through local knowledge and partnerships. This challenge is just the beginning of a movement to save Pakistan from the horrendous effects of climate change. Our aim is to enable young entrepreneurs and foster ideas that help in increasing environmental resilience.
Zouhair Khaliq, Partner and Co-Founder Teamup added,
We at Teamup believe in using technology and innovation to solve the major socio-economic challenges of Pakistan. Our partnership with The Asia Foundation is yet another step towards our goal of empowering the youth and building a progressive and sustainable future.