Meet Zain Ashraf, a Pakistani entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has been conferred the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Award for his non-profit crowdfunding group, ‘Seed Out’.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards recognize outstanding young people with innovative projects and programs that have had a significant impact on their communities. This year, the awards focus on celebrating young people’s initiatives and projects that aim to build a more secure, prosperous, fairer, and sustainable future for the community. There were 20 finalists shortlisted from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, and the Pacific. In addition to a grant of GBP £1,000 to continue their development work, finalists will each be awarded a trophy and certificate.
With his philanthropic project, Seed Out, Ashraf’s focus is to reduce inequality in Pakistan, a target highlighted by the United Nations as one of the most important sustainable development goals for member countries across the world.
Seed Out provides small funds to underprivileged entrepreneurs, who wish to start, sustain or expand a micro-business; through a crowd-funding platform using interest-free micro-financing.
The non-profit organization aims at alleviating poverty by creating jobs, raising entrepreneurs and creating economic stability. According to official figures, the organization has raised 350 entrepreneurs, selecting and pairing micro entrepreneurs with a business based on need, since 2014. Being the President, Ashraf oversees the operations, ensuring complete transparency in all phases of implementation. He focuses on creating smart policies, a strong framework and competent liaison with other organizations.
An alumna of the University of Miami, Ashraf headed back to Pakistan with a degree in entrepreneurship to materialize his plans of eradicating poverty and kick-start multiple businesses.
Other than being the founder and president of Seed Out, he holds the directorial positions at the Super Asia Group and the fast-food joint Hardees in Pakistan. He is also the brain behind iVoke, a digital agency in Pakistan that outsources result-oriented marketing solutions. ‘Eccountant’, Pakistan’s first ever online cloud accounting app, is also one of the many marvels of Ashraf’s mind. The app has helped multiple startups and companies in managing their financial dilemmas.
Zain Ashraf is an inspiration to young Pakistani entrepreneurs and business-minded young individuals.
He has been summoned as a speaker at OIC (Organisation of Islamic Corporations), TEDx, Islamic Mirco-Finance Network, LUMS, BNU, and Lahore School of Economics. He has also been ranked Pakistan’s Top 25 High Achievers under 25 by TechJuice and his vision for Seed Out was also awarded Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Programme Award.
We congratulate him for his accomplishments!
cover image source: Zain Ashraf/ Facebook