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Setting up a business

Advice concerning job hunting and starting a business

In Germany and interested in going back to Pakistan? Or are you living in Pakistan and looking for new opportunities like starting a business or switching careers? The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) will give you individual advice.
This offer includes:

  • Advice if you’re looking for a steady job
  • Support with starting a business
  • Support with social reintegration
  • Psychosocial support
  • Legal advice

The advisory team will refer you to a partner organisation or employment agency if required. There are over 100 agencies in Pakistan.

Worth knowing Lahore English, Urdu free of charge
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Support for start-ups

The National Incubation Business Center (NIC) is Pakistan's largest centre for start-ups. It helps young entrepreneurs start their own business.

It supports start-ups in turning their visions into reality and provides guidance to young entrepreneurs. The NIC brings entrepreneurs together with mentors and experts.

It is a cooperation between the Ministry of IT and Telecommunications and the technology funds Ignite, Jazz and Teamup.

NIC has offices in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta.

Registration is required.

Worth knowing Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta
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Helping young people to find a job

The Punjab Skills Development Fund supports young people in their job search. It offers short vocational courses. These courses teach them the skills they need to earn their own income. PSDF also supports young people when they are setting up small businesses.

A fee is payable for the courses, but it is possible to apply for a subsidy.

Worth knowing fee is payable, subsidy possible
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Assistance with loans and business plans

SMEDA (Small Medium Enterprise Development Authority) supports those who want to start a business or have just started one. Among other things, the organisation offers assistance in the following areas:

  • Writing business plans/proposals
  • Applying for loans
  • General aspects relating to start-up
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Microcredits for new prospects

Akhuwat claims to be the world’s largest Islamic micro-finance organisation. It grants loans to people wanting to improve their living conditions – by starting their own business, for example. These microloans are interest-free.

Anyone who wants to apply for a microcredit must:

  • Be between 18 and 64 years old
  • Possess a CNIC (Computerized National Identity Card)
  • Provide two guarantors (not relatives)
  • Not have a criminal record

Further conditions can be found on the organisation’s website.

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Help with starting a career

The Career Counselling & Job Placement centre (CC&JP) supports young people in finding a job. There are more than 100 CC&JP centres in Pakistan. Among other things, the offer includes:

  • Advice on which profession suits you best
  • Information about job requirements
  • Job search support
  • Help when applying
  • Start-up training

The offer is free of charge, but you have to register in advance.

Worth knowing Free of charge.
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Training and consulting for entrepreneurs

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CENTIN) promotes entrepreneurs. It offers training courses and support from mentors, for example. This support is available in Punjab.
Worth knowing Punjab
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Skills for digital work environments

The Digiskills online academy offers courses for freelancers, entrepreneurs and employees. It is where you can learn everything you need to work digitally.

The course topics include:

  • Digital literacy
  • E-Commerce
  • Graphic design
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  • Creative writing
  • WordPress
  • QuickBooks

The courses are free of charge, but registration is required.

Digiskills is a programme run by the Pakistani Ministry of Information, Technology and Telecommunications.

Worth knowing free of charge
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Getting started with online business

The E-rozgaar organisation offers courses to young people in Punjab. The aim is to enable them to establish an online business.

The course topics include:

  • Development of websites
  • Design of websites, for example using WordPress
  • Content marketing and advertisements
  • Graphic design (development of logos, basics of Adobe programmes)
Worth knowing This offer is free of charge.
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Network for women entrepreneurs

The Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WCCI) supports women entrepreneurs. It provides a forum for debate. It also ensures the exchange of ideas with local, regional and international partners.

With assistance from the WCCI, women entrepreneurs can establish contacts with partners in research and development. Members take part in exhibitions and their companies are publicised through reports in the media.

The services are available in Punjab and Lahore.

Worth knowing Women Punjab, Lahore
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For women: Opening your own tailor shop

The Association for Humanitarian Development (AHD) helps women to start their own business. The organisation offers courses in sewing, embroidery and tailoring. They also provide sewing machines to women. The aim is to enable women to open their own tailor shop.

AHD also offers training courses relating to starting a business.

The courses are held in Sindh, but they can also be requested for other regions.

The services are free of charge. 

Worth knowing Sindh. Upon request also in other regions. Free of charge. Women
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Personal consultation

Need support before or after your return to Pakistan? Here you can receive advice.

Link to the advice centre