Entrepreneurship is at the heart of regional economic integration and sustainable development. In the wake of emerging opportunities through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and other regional integration initiatives, Pakistan is set to take a leap for the better. This however would require converting Pakistan’s youth bulge into productive human resources who have entrepreneurial zeal and skill set to capitalize on our natural endowments and inherent industrial strengths.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, in collaboration with University of Management and Technology launched SME Conference in 2016 as a platform to promote collaboration between government, private sector, academia and international development agencies for creating a conducive policy and regulatory regime for entrepreneurship driven sustainable growth of the country. The platform is envisaged to enhance collaboration between industry, academia and government so that joint initiatives could be embarked upon for nurturing SME focused research in Pakistani universities, learning from international best practices, and furnishing knowledge based policy imperatives to the government and international development agencies.

1st and 2nd SME Conferences were held in collaboration with local and international partners in May 2016 and March 2017 at Lahore. A diverse set of stakeholders participated in the conferences. Building upon the momentum created through the hitherto conferences, the 3rd SME Conference is being organized in November 2018. The conference, thus, seeks to understand and develop recommendations for policy makers, researchers and development practitioners to cope with the challenges of entrepreneurship development, sustainability and regional integration. Research papers, case studies, and successful development initiatives falling within the realm of entrepreneurship, regional integration, specifically opportunities emerging through CPEC are therefore solicited.

Both conceptual and empirical papers relating to the following sub-themes of the conference are welcome.

  • Estimating the Contribution of SMEs in National Economy
  • Role of SMEs in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Challenges of Small and Medium Enterprises in Pakistan
  • Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Development
  • Women, Youth Entrepreneurship, and Transgender Entrepreneurship
  • Measuring Development Impact
  • Succession Planning in SMEs
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Integration particularly focusing on CPEC
  • Scope and Importance of ICT for SME growth
  • Cost of doing Business for SMEs
  • Impact of Incubators on Entrepreneurship Promotion
  • Cluster Development Approach for Economic Development
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