Pakistani parents more in favor of start-ups than other countries

Dr Samo shared the findings of Guesss 2016, the seventh edition of the project which was conducted last year. 

According to THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE of PAKISTAN, Pakistani families are more positive to the idea of having their children start their own business as compared to families in other countries, said Sukkur Institute of Business Administration’a (IBA) Executive Development Centre director Dr Altaf Hussain Samo. He was sharing the findings of Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (Guesss), an international research study project initiated in 2003 by the Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of St Gallen. Guesss provides insight into the entrepreneurial intentions and interest of university students towards entrepreneurship across the world.

In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Dr Samo shared the findings of Guesss 2016, the seventh edition of the project which was conducted last year. Over 122,000 students across 50 countries participated in the survey and Sukkur IBA led the project in Pakistan, where a total of 1,099 students across 15 universities took part. Dr Samo also serves as the country representative of Guesss. In the study in Pakistan, 62% of the respondents were male and 38% were female. Of these, 58.5% were undergraduate students while 21.7% were graduate students and19.8% were students of PhD and MBA.

When it comes to confidence levels to open their own entrepreneurial venture, Dr Samo said that female students have a more positive attitude towards starting their own business than their male counterparts. However, both male and female students have an equal level of self-efficacy. Students get more support for entrepreneurial careers from their families especially when one or more member of their family is an entrepreneur. The study showed that among promising student entrepreneurs, male students were more willing to make their business their main occupation as compared to female students. Nascent student entrepreneurs are also more interested in a start-up business related to human health and social work. Among active student entrepreneur businesses, 30% have no employees, which is reflective of the global trend where 26.9% of active entrepreneurs have no employees at all. The nature of the business varies among active student entrepreneurs. Eighteen per cent students are active in trade, 22% in education and training, 10% in IT and software while 8% in manufacturing.

Dr Samo found it encouraging that more students in Pakistan were favourable to the idea of becoming entrepreneurs right after completing their studies, as compared to global trends. “This is due to a favourable entrepreneurial environment students have at the university level,” he said. It developed their ability to search for information about potential markets to get entrepreneurial ideas based on the knowledge derived from studies, research projects and interaction with significant others, he added.  “This survey is the best way to support the hypothesis related to entrepreneurship intention of students in Pakistan,” said a Sukkur IBA student of BBA-VI Sabir Ali Bhutto. “It is not hard to start a business but it becomes hard when young entrepreneurs lack the key elements of ‘not giving up’ and ‘resource’, he said.

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