NICL Launches Tabeer Project with Support of U.S. State Department
The National Incubation Center Lahore (NICL) at LUMS hosted the launch ceremony for Tabeer Project, an 18-month capacity-building initiative aimed at expanding the knowledge base, skills, and capabilities of Business Incubation Centres (BICs) across universities in Punjab. This partnership between LUMS and the United States brought together stakeholders from the government sector, higher education institutes, and the startup ecosystem.
Guests included Mr. Andrew Schofer, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Islamabad, and Mr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, Governor of the Punjab. They were joined by Ms. Kritin K. Hawkins, Consul General, Lahore; Mr. Karl Rogers, Public Affairs Officer, Consulate General, Lahore and Mr. Tanveer Hassan, Cultural Affairs Specialist, Consulate General, Lahore. The guests were welcomed by LUMS leadership including Pro Chancellor, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood; Rector, Mr. Shahid Hussain; Acting Vice Chancellor and Provost, Dr. Tariq Jadoon; Mr. Nauman Zaffar, Director, NICL, and Ms. Saima Rana, Head of Operations, NICL.
NICL aims to deliver the capacity-building interventions through a phased training schedule, in addition to on-site workshops in partner BICs. These will target university faculty, BIC management, and students. The modules will cover a range of topics, from the governance and management of an incubator to entrepreneurial coaching and institutional reform. The workshops will be followed by an exchange programme in which nearly 15 BIC representatives will travel to the US to learn from the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The ceremony began with an introductory note by Mr. Zaffar, who shared, “Tabeer literally means the realisation of a dream, and that’s exactly what we hope to achieve in the next 18 months - not only for Pakistan, but also for the different startups and entrepreneurs who will be impacted.”
Governor, Mr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, spoke about the responsibility of educational institutions to train the youth and provide them with opportunities to work on their innovative ideas. He added, “Entrepreneurship and innovation are the cornerstone of a thriving economy and start-ups play an important role. Incubation centres across Punjab are giving entrepreneurs the right mindset and training on how to practically implement their ideas.”
Reiterating the LUMS vision to advance quality education and research, Mr. Dawood emphasised the need for multilateral projects and collaborations so that young and passionate individuals in Pakistan are empowered to contribute to the country's progress.
Mr. Schofer spoke about how Tabeer aims to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan. Talking about the project, he said, “Entrepreneurs are a driving force for innovation and economic growth, which is at the heart of U.S.-Pakistan relationship. The United States is committed to training the next generation of Pakistani entrepreneurs and businesspeople through investment in Pakistan’s human capital.”
The event ended with a group photo as the grant was handed over by Mr. Schofer to Dr. Jadoon.