Of the 1,000 applications received by Shell Tameer, 85% were from urban centres, while 15% were from rural regions. Sixty percent of applicants were male and 40% were female. Sixty seven percent of businesses were product-based whereas 33% were service-oriented. Based on carefully designed criteria, 150 short-listed applications were sent to a panel of experts who chose 10 finalists. These five young men and five young women, representing all of Pakistan’s provinces, are being recognised for their entrepreneurial successes by Shell Tameer.

Before the Award Ceremony, these 10 finalists will showcase their businesses and meet with members of the corporate, industrial, policy-making, academic and entrepreneur communities. A panel of prestigious judges will choose three winners from the 10.

The panel consists of: Badar Khushnood, Country Manager, Google; Muhammad Ali Tabba, CEO, Lucky Cement; Syed Azhar Afaq Rizvi, CEO, Tech Angels Technology; Dr Ishrat Hussain, Dean & Director, IBA; Syed Talib S Karim, Executive Director, IoBM; Bilal Lakhani, Publisher, Express Tribune and Nadeem Hussain, CEO, Tameer Microfinance Bank. The judge’s participation will give young entrepreneurs valuable insight into how these idols started and grew their careers.

Unfortunately Pakistan has provided its youth with few opportunities to foster entrepreneurship, compared to other countries with similar socio-economic conditions, according to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. However, Afshan Khan, Social Investment Manager, Shell Pakistan Ltd. believes that social development projects like Shell Tameer will help younger generations realise the benefits entrepreneurship offers them and their country.

Since its inception in 2003, Tameer has developed entrepreneurial skills in young people across Pakistan aged 18 to 32 years. It encourages them start a business as a viable career option by providing free information, counselling, support and training. So far 75,000 thousand young people have been engaged by Tameer through 112 workshops and 127 seminars nationwide. Tameer’s efforts have resulted in 1000 new start-ups, providing employments to approximately 22,500 people.