UNIDO supports Pakistani SMEs and start-ups engaged in clean technology innovation

UNIDO supports Pakistani SMEs and start-ups engaged in clean technology innovation

ISLAMABAD, 1 September 2015 – Training for representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups which have qualified as semi-finalists in the 2015 Cleantech Competition was provided during a business clinic that took place today in Islamabad.

Co-organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the event is part of the UNIDO Global Cleantech Innovation Programme funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Currently operating in seven countries - Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa and Turkey - the programme aims to develop a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem in these countries by supporting entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to establish commercial ventures involving clean technology.

A competition-based approach is used to identify the most promising entrepreneurs across a country. This year, 450 entrepreneurs and innovators in Pakistan applied for the Cleantech Competition, and 55 made it to the semi-finals. The very best startups from each country will be brought together for the finals in Silicon Valley, USA, where they will compete for the Global Prize and will have the chance to connect with potential partners, customers and investors from around the world. 

During the business clinic in Islamabad, some of the semi-finalists shared their innovative projects. One of them introduced a water purification plant based on low-cost solar reverse osmosis; another showed water pumps powered by solar energy; and one introduced the idea of using biomass-based insulation for building construction, saying this solution can save around 70% of heating and cooling costs.

“UNIDO is involved in promoting cleantech innovation programs for SMEs around the world in order to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” said UNIDO Representative to Pakistan, Esam Alqararah, adding that UNIDO will keep providing the semi-finalists with training and incubation services to help them improve their business prospects.

Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President of the ICCI stressed the need to provide SMEs and start-ups with easy access to solutions and funds in order for them to innovate, absorb and scale up clean technologies for green growth and green industry. “Government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, should develop a strong policy framework, dedicated funding mechanisms and more public-private partnerships that could strengthen the nexus between entrepreneurs, innovators, research and development institutions, financial institutions and knowledge-providers to nurture innovation ecosystem for SMEs in Pakistan.”

For more information, please contact:

Esam Alqararah
UNIDO Representative to Pakistan