Role of ICT in Promoting Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Pakistan

Role of ICT in Promoting Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Pakistan

Muhammad Nawaz Tunio (Alpen Adria University of Klagenfurt, Austria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/JBE.2020070101

Abstract

The entrepreneurial ecosystem has been ingrained with the mutual support of educational institutions, mobile operators, supporting networks, and other government organizations. These joint initiatives unlock the huge opportunities, but there is an urge to accelerate digital entrepreneurship. However, this is an exploratory study, and the motive is to explore the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan. It has been found that there are several contributors to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem system in the country. Universities offer business education to educate and train the students whereas the business incubators established by the universities provide an opportunity to the students and alumni to pursue entrepreneurial career. In this regard, ICT plays a revolutionary role for the new startups.
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Introduction

The information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has many actors and institutions in its ecosystem at the provincial as well as National level. It is not only responsible for planning, coordination, and execution of the different ICT related projects, programs, workshops, conferences, seminars, but also facilitates the universities to produce IT skilled workforce which can contribute and perform their role in the ecosystem everywhere. (Hisrich, et al., 2020 pp 233-265; Shaukat, 2009). Incubation equipped with ICTs has been introduced by the public and private organizations to build an entrepreneurial environment. Whereas Academia produces IT trained workforce through degree programs.

To realize the potential of two million young people of the country, there is an urge to provide employment opportunities for the graduates who enter the market in the search of work/job. To cope with this issue, a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem is required, which can accommodate large number of younger individuals in the market. The Digital entrepreneurial ecosystem is at the nascent stage and if it precedes to follow global trends by adopting the emerging technologies which may focus innovation, infrastructure development, entrepreneurship, and collaborations (Mahmood, et al., 2016; Qureshi, et al., 2016).

ICT plays a revolutionary role for new startups. The ICT helps to stimulate new venture not only to survive and grow but also to sweep the market. Hence, ICT is supportive in creating an environment for entrepreneurship that promotes the success of startups in emerging markets. The startup culture in Pakistan is perhaps in its initial stage. However, technical support can make it viable through necessary support and required resources (Haque, 2006; Gupta, 2006; Jamil, et al., 2015; & Mahmood, et al., 2017).

Since the last one and a half decades, Pakistan has experienced a technological revolution where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has a tremendous role to set a digitalized era. The media industry and mobile communication technology are real examples of the ICT revolution in the country, that has opened the door to new opportunities for the youth. The graduates of universities from business administration, information technology, and other disciplines are found in the entry registers for entrepreneurship. Such an influx of ICT participated in the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting new startups. This tract of technological progress can be a turning point for the youth in Pakistan to transform unemployment into self-employment and for more opportunities (Sagath, et al., 2019; (Tunio, 2020 pp 130-146).

Besides the media industry and mobile communication technologies, ICT has paved a way for the Science and Technology Parks in the country. Technology parks coordinate with government, academia, business, and community. Technology parks provide innovation to improve performance and economic efficiency. Achieving a competitive advantage is not possible without merging and diffusion of technology. Technology parks also play versatile purposes in the country and promoting the culture of entrepreneurship is one of them. ICT fabricates the growth of IT Startups via incubators for business and commercial needs. ICT has a central role in the promotion of the scientific society and the entrepreneurial ecosystem (Soetanto & Geenhuizen, 2019). Entrepreneurship is very significant in the economic reform and social transformation in developing countries. However, entrepreneurship is sustained by innovation, and innovation is not restricted or customized to the developed countries, but developing countries have also gained innovation in the process and performance of the micro, small and medium enterprises (Thuse, 2017).

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