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According to The World Bank’s study, Pakistan has an estimated 20 SMEs per 1000 people, compared with 32 in India and 45 in the advanced economies of the world. Since Pakistan’s economy is still transitioning from a predominantly agriculture-based to an industrialized one, most of the citizens are not aware of how a modern business works, or what crucial economic role SMEs play in a modern society.

Capacity Enhancement Leadership and Linkages (CELL) Development Program for SMEs besides providing capacity enhancement training in 13 project districts across Pakistan also expands the SME ecosystem by creating credible linkages between the existing micro enterprises, policy makers and financial service providers in the country.

In this very context, CELL team will organize 6 Provincial Advocacy Seminars for SMEs (PASS) in provincial capitals (Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad). Stakeholders will be encouraged to discuss, debate and work towards creating more spaces and opportunities for SMEs. PASS will also provide a platform to the SME leaders to present challenges and issues that hinder growth of their businesses with the relevant stakeholders to prioritize schemes for them and create greater space for grassroot level enterprises in Pakistan.

These seminars will likely be hosted at National Incubation Centers in the provincial capitals so that the SME leaders also get a chance to know about how technology and modern-day advancements can help them grow their businesses. Representatives of Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry (WCCI), regional representatives of SMEDA, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), administrators from incubation centers, public and private universities, ORICs, managers from National Incubation Centers (NICs) and regional SME leaders would be invited to PASS and would be encouraged to make SME/microenterprises friendly policies and strategies to include them at all levels including access to modern workplaces and integration.