What is the role of businesses and entrepreneurship in Islam? It is a topic rarely talked about, but Islam is all about value creation, and entrepreneurship is merely a means to an end. Our own Prophet (PBUH) was a businessman, an entrepreneur. He was someone who created true value in the world around him, not just through his business but in the way that he conducted it as well.
Creating a start-up or business is not the end goal in Islam, what is more important is how you reach it and what you end up doing with the returns from it. Entrepreneurship is at the core of all Islamic values because it is all about value creation. We create value for a social impact, for wealth creation, and for economic development. Entrepreneurship gives you financial empowerment, allowing you the ability to pass it along. As an entrepreneur, one must create value for their customers in order to improve their life as well as society as a whole.
Another important aspect of entrepreneurship in Islam is zakat. We don’t usually talk about this but when we look at the Quran, whenever Allah mentions namaz, He mentions zakat as well. Namaz and zakat are made compulsory for all, including men and women. But what is the concept of zakat and what does it actually mean?
Have you ever thought about this aspect: zakat means to create value; it encourages you to create value for individuals and the environment. If you are a capable individual, it is your obligation to give away 2.5% of your savings as zakat. In entrepreneurship, this is done not only through an entrepreneur giving away his profits, but also creating a culture of giving. Entrepreneurs should create a giving culture within their organisation and start-ups, therefore giving back to the common welfare. Irrespective of how big or small of a contribution, giving back creates an impact on people as well as communities.
Our society today, needs to encourage an environment where we push entrepreneurship and eventually wealth creation in all people. Earning money, in current times, has negative connotations. But what people fail to understand is that wealth is not inherently good or bad; what matters is how it is utilised.
Today, Pakistan needs an initiative that breeds and promotes entrepreneurship in the youth. This means more than just creating yearly start-up events and incubation centres that many are unable too access. An example of such an initiative is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent Kamyab Jawan: Youth Empowerment Program. Created in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the program aims at ensuring “socio-economic empowerment of youth on a national and international level.” Though the overall program focuses on youth empowerment, two sub-divisions in particular refer to entrepreneurship. The Startup Pakistan Program and Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), both aim at giving individuals the opportunity to create and develop their own entrepreneurial ideas through “practical entrepreneurship training” and “interest free, micro and small loans” respectively.
Though a commendable initiative made in the right direction, trying to create successful youth is not merely enough. We need to create a narrative as well. Individuals need to understand why such skills are needed and how this capacity building is at the core of a kamyab jawan.People need to be skilled not only for personal development, but in order to empower the society as a whole as well. It is economic development and sense of innovative thinking that will allow this initiative to work at its full potential.
We at EdTechWorx, aim at creating that narrative. The whole idea behind our Entrepreneurship course& MyStartup Summit is that students of colleges and universities who are in their third and fourth years should be introduced to the lingo and mechanism of state-of-the-art entrepreneurship. This includes time tested lingo from start-ups and universities all around the globe and we believe, our students, Pakistani students should be exposed to that.
The most important element of this is that students will not only learn theory, but during the whole course, they will also develop an entrepreneurial venture. Whatever students do, it will not be wasted and they would be given the opportunity to link it to the industry, consisting of incubators and seed money investors.
If interested in collaborating with MyStartup Summit powered by EDTW, write to [email protected],com.