Zindigi, powered by JS Bank recently launched Zindigi Prize which claims to turbo charge the startup landscape in Pakistan by bringing ideas to life. This social entrepreneurial initiative aims to fund and coach the aspiring student entrepreneurs of Pakistan in order to successfully address the country’s most pressing social issues.

To kickstart, a launch event was held at the National Incubation Center, Islamabad which was attended by Vice Chancellors from universities across Pakistan along with thought leaders from the startup and education sectors, including National Information and Technology Board (NITB), the Ministry of IT, and Special Technology Zones (STZA) who expressed their support for Zindigi’s mission of empowering Pakistani youth.

Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of Higher Education Commission (HEC) was Chief Guest at the event while Ms. Aisha Humera Chaudhry, Additional Secretary IT & Telecom, Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) attended as Guest of Honor. Dr. Shaista in support of Zindigi Prize spoke about the importance of social entrepreneurship programs during a time when Pakistan is facing the adverse effects of global climate change is pivotal. In her conversation, she urged universities to curate their research for the curriculums to ensure that education taps into the pain points of the industry.

“Pakistani students are full of bright ideas that can change lives; however, they don’t have the proper training or platforms to bring those ideas to fruition. We want to challenge young people to solve the most pressing issues around them through social entrepreneurship and to develop their mindset towards it,” said Noman Azhar, Chief Officer- Zindigi when introducing the initiative and its vision to transform the entrepreneurship domain in Pakistan.

The event also hosted two panel discussions. The first one titled “Social Entrepreneurship in Pakistan” included Dr Habib Bokhari (Vice Chancellor, KU Muree), Prof. Dr. Tahir Khan (Vice Chancellor, AUST), Dr. Shoab Khan (Chancellor, CASE), Ms Fajer Rabia Pasha (CEO, PAGE) and Air Cdre Afzaal Ahmed (Director ORIC). The second panel was titled Enabling the Entrepreneurial Spirit and included Dr Shahid Qureshi (Rector, GIFT University), Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar (Chairman Rastgar Group), Dr Athar Mahboob (Vice Chanellor, IU Bahawalpur), Mr Amer Hashmi (founder STZA), Dr Shazia Akhtar (Professor at SZABIST).

Zindigi Prize is a year-long entrepreneurship program that aims to engage 100+ universities across Pakistan and will provide students with the opportunity to showcase their ideas, get mentorship from leading industry experts, learn new skills, network at startup events, and receive educational sponsorships. Starting with campus rounds where one winning team will be selected from each university to the Regional and finally National rounds. Zindigi Prize wants to create a community across Pakistan that will engage in exchanging ideas and dreams and work with the teams to make those dreams come to life.

Zindigi powered by JS Bank is a digital banking initiative targeted towards Gen Z and millennials, who value their independence and want to control and operate things their way. Zindigi is a first-of-its-kind customizable mobile app with an ethos of giving full control of the digital bank to customers and the look and feel of their app. It provides savings and investing options for millennials and Generation Z. The catchphrase is “Simple Karo.” It is the first digital banking service in Pakistan that allows customers to open a full-fledged account online and receive a master debit card that can be used both domestically and abroad. For more information, visit the link: www.zindigi.pk/