Six easy ways to get public and private funding for your business in Pakistan

Every budding entrepreneur lacks funds and is always on the lookout for ways to fund their promising startup.

 

From food ordering apps to ride-hailing services and e-commerce businesses, innovative solutions by brilliant Pakistanis have helped mitigate some of the most complex challenges existing nationally. Over the past decade, entrepreneurship has been on the rise in Pakistan. People are rapidly moving towards self-employment and a belated eagerness to embrace the startup culture’s global trend.

However, the road to startup success is paved with innumerable challenges – of whom fundraising continues to be the most critical one. Despite an unprecedented increase in startup funding in Pakistan and many success stories, getting seed capital is not a walk in the park.

Every budding entrepreneur lacks funds and is always on the lookout for ways to fund their promising startup. It’s hard to determine what is the most valuable source of funding. To help you understand the pros and cons of all, here is a detailed list of the six most practical sources of funding currently available through private and public sector organizations in Pakistan.

Here are the Six most Practical Sources of Funding for your Startup:

1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms bring investors willing to invest and entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas in one place. For instance, Indiegogo enables individuals to pitch their business ideas to a community of investors willing to support their ideas and generate substantial amounts as a result.
The process encompasses a few simple steps:

  1. Set up the amount you need to generate
  2. Create a campaign
  3. Describe your campaign in detail with images and videos
  4. Make a business pitch on the platform and share your business model
  5. Share your contact details

The interactive Indiegogo platform displays the funded campaigns and their amounts on the website to ensure transparency.

2. Angel Investment

Angel Investors” have vast amounts of capital and are willing to invest in promising business ideas. Numerous Pakistani startups have successfully scaled their businesses after getting millions injected from globally based angel investors through seed funding rounds.
With a portfolio comprising 8 funded startups and a board of investors hailing from various sectors, Dot Zero ventures make for a viable option for early-stage companies looking to scale.

3. Venture Capital

Venture Capital funds identify and invest in startups offering solutions of a disruptive nature. Sarmayacar and Lakson Investments are two of the most prominent venture capital firms working to bolster emerging e-commerce/retail startups in Pakistan. Both venture capital giants have notable brands such as BYKEA, dawaai, Patari & BaGallery on their portfolio.

4. Bank Loans

Many banking institutions in Pakistan provide loans to enthusiastic entrepreneurs with concrete business plans.
Here are a few options you can consider in that regard:

  • NBP’s credit guarantee scheme

The national bank’s credit guarantee scheme finances startup businesses and rural enterprises with a maximum financing amount of PKR. 1.5 million and tenor of up to 5 years.

  • HBL Small Business Finance

Habib Bank Limited – the largest private sector commercial bank offers up to PKR 15 million for small businesses with tenors up to 3 years.

5. Microfinance providers

Microfinance is a viable option for businesses that can’t access conventional banking capital. FINCA microfinance bank’s “Karobari Karza” offers a short-term loan facility to entrepreneurs of up to PKR 150,000, with credit tenures ranging from 6 months to 2 years.

6. Government Schemes For Entrepreneurs

The Government of Pakistan’s youth-focused initiatives includes schemes that fund promising business ideas by young entrepreneurs.
Here are two of them:

  • Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (Yes!)

The scheme provides interest-free loans in three different tiers – up to PKR 1 million in Tier 1, PKR 10 million in Tier 2, and PKR 25 million in Tier 3.

  • Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans

The Prime minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme aims to promote entrepreneurship by supporting new businesses, with maximum loans of up to PKR 2 Million.

Final Option: Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is the process of building a business from scratch without depending on external funding. If you have exhausted all six avenues of startup funding mentioned here but to no avail, bootstrapping could be the way to go. You may need to consider starting without any launch support except financing from friends and family and personal savings.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.


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