In the past few years, there has been a tremendous shift in the entrepreneurial landscape around the globe. Entrepreneurs are being facilitated at both, public and private levels. Incubation and acceleration programs, startup consultancy agencies, innovation expos, and competitions are pushing more and more people including students to be entrepreneurs and business leaders. We hear amazing startup stories from around the world every day.
Huzaifa Ahmed and his two friends, studying business studies in their undergrad at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), started a small social enterprise to eradicate hunger with a business plan. They named their initiative “Rizq” which later on got extended to “Rizq-Share Food”. It was pretty challenging for them to have a fine balance between their studies at one of Pakistan’s top-ranking business schools and running their business but they managed it in an exceptional manner. Today Rizq is one of the exemplary social enterprises with an unusual business model and deep penetrating social impact.
There are hundreds of such examples coming up every year. Look at Forbes 8 under 18 and Fortune’s 18 under 18 lists published every year. These young entrepreneurs are defying all odds and are excelling in both, their studies and businesses alike. Although we have many success stories like these at the same time, the challenges being faced by young, student entrepreneurs cannot be ignored.
One of the most common challenges that we come across is that of time management. Unlike the institutes of the developed world, most of the Pakistani Universities do not offer flexible study routines. We have seen this issue persist for many startups incubated at NIC Peshawar but eventually dropped out voluntarily or due to falling short of attendance KPI’s. Nelson Ng Jia Jun, a student entrepreneur and founder of ProjectEd, while sharing his experience as a student entrepreneur writes,
“The ability to prioritize tasks is crucial for every aspiring student entrepreneur out there, especially when juggling academics and work.”
The second most pressing issue which we come across a lot is the lack of support from family and social circles. In our society, entrepreneurship is still not accepted as a popular career choice. Pursuing ones’ passion for starting their own business is usually met with ridicule and backlash instead of support. This also disheartens the youngsters who are already juggling between their studies and their passion.
But even in the face of all these challenges, we hear some amazing success stories coming up every day. Student entrepreneurs are not only coming up with innovative solutions for their own problems but also for society at large. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks, being consistent and optimum management of resources be it capital, time or energy. The student entrepreneurs need to always remain positive, consistent, and well-managed. This is how they can excel in both of their life domains.