ISLAMABAD  - The National Incubator Center (NIC) Quetta has attracted startups from 22 out of 33 districts of Balochistan in the last three years, which is a clear demonstration of development of an entrepreneurial culture in the province. Talking to WealthPK, Director NIC Quetta Muhammad Shah Khan said they had been successful in creating and developing an entrepreneurial culture in Balochistan. The Center was stablished in 2018 and so far, 65 startups have graduated, creating more than 480 jobs with cumulative sales of around Rs86 million and cumulative investment of Rs68 million. “Another hallmark, which is very unique to the NIC Quetta, is its Microenterprise Program. The Center has trained 58 microentrepreneurs, out of which 76% are women. After completion of training at the NIC Quetta, these microenterprises have experienced 70% increase in their sales and raised an investment of over Rs6.5 million,” Muhammad Shah added. He said the Center was a hub of innovation contributing to the socio-economic uplift of the province. The NIC Quetta’s business incubation program is exclusively designed for the new market entrants by enabling commercialization of technological developments and promoting a culture of innovation across the province. Muhammad Shah said the microenterprise program had supported dozens of home-based businesses to flourish and to raise investment. “The NIC Quetta has been successful not only in creating jobs, but it has also acted as a provider of psychological support for the budding entrepreneurs from across the province. The NIC Quetta team continuously engages with the startups and microbusinesses and provides them with an insightful advice and useful information,” Muhammad Shah said. “The NIC Quetta connects startups to the right people at the right time so that the founders’ energies and resources are not wasted. Moreover, the NIC Quetta encourages all the incubated startups to interact with each other, and offer help, advice and mutually beneficial collaborations,” he added. Muhammad Shah said the enabling environment of the Center encouraged the startups and microentrepreneurs to flourish beyond limits. He said the Centre’s extensive outreach was increasing with each graduating cohort, with more and more applications being submitted from even the remotest areas of Balochistan. “Cumulatively, the NIC Quetta startups have created 409 direct and indirect jobs during the past three years,” he added. Commenting on the participation of women in the digital market, the NIC Quetta director said Balochistan was considered a society with strict protocols when it came to the representation of women in economic, social and political spheres. However, this perception has been shattered by the outcomes and results that the NIC Quetta has produced. “An overwhelming number of women applied and were incubated at the NIC Quetta during the past three years. Around 43% of the startups that were incubated at the NIC Quetta had founder or co-founders as women. Moreover, 76% of the micro entrepreneurs trained by the NIC Quetta during the past three years were women,” Muhammad Shah added.