Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE)

The British Council has launched a new multi-year programme called Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE). The programme is to be delivered in five priority countries; South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and Brazil as well as the UK.
This new initiative is designed to address two critical issues of emerging economies today:
Issue 1: Rising unemployment, underemployment and poor quality employment prospects for young people in emerging economies.
Issue 2: The lack of inclusive growth in emerging economies which is translating into instability, political disaffection and affecting growth.
In order to address these two issues, the British Council is drawing on two of the UK’s key assets; Social Enterprise and the Creative Industries. The themes of Gender and Inclusion are cross-cutting across the entire programme. Providing support to strengthen social enterprise and the creative industries as vehicles to support inclusive and sustainable economic development provides a platform for the UK to deliver global leadership, whilst addressing the three issues that have been outlined above.

Programme Scope and Activities

Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) is in the process of delivering three levels of interventions:
1. Environmental (government and policy)
2. Institutional (enterprise to enterprise and skills providers)
3. Individual (Peer to Peer)

Environmental (Government and Policy)

The policy component of the project is aimed at bringing about systemic change through contribution toward policy reforms pertaining to enterprise development in Pakistan. This involves working with policy makers and key government organisations such as the Planning Commission of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Ministry of Finance, Provincial Government Departments, Media, private sector organisations pertaining to technology and financial sector to reform and/or introduce policies that can support the development of an enabling ecosystem for social/creative enterprises to grow, scale and sustain themselves. Policy level initiatives include policy advocacy with key stakeholders within the government and non- government sector (policy papers, policy dialogues, round tables, advocacy campaigns).
This also includes building capacity of policy makers to enhance their understanding and knowledge about social and creative sectors, the barriers they face and their potential to contribute to economic growth. One of key outputs for these components is the development of a strategy for creative/innovative/social enterprise sector development in Pakistan by bringing on board a UK sector organisation/entity to work with the Planning Commission. It is envisaged that interventions for policy level change will support the government’s objective under its Vision 2025 for ‘entrepreneurship led growth’.
British Council has conducted a number of researches in the past pertaining to social and creative enterprise sectors. There are a range of policy level recommendations that have come out of those researches and potentially partners are expected to build on these recommendations under the policy component of this programme.

Institutional (enterprise to enterprise and skills providers)

The basic objective of interventions under this component is to develop institutional framework that sustains development of social/creative enterprise sectors in Pakistan beyond the life of the project. Institutional strengthening for young aspiring creative and social entrepreneurs will include for example, providing capacity building support to incubation centres within the Higher Education Institutions and those that have been set up under the government’s Information, Communication, Technology and R&D fund. Interventions will also be geared at strengthening institutions that support women entrepreneurship in the country. These institutions include Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Social Welfare and Women Development Departments, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority, National and Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women in Pakistan.

Individual (Peer to Peer)

Pertains to opportunities for peer to peer learning and exchanged aimed at enhancing knowledge and understanding and enhancing skills and capacity of aspiring, existing (both struggling and growing) entrepreneurs and social/creative enterprise leaders in Pakistan. Under this component, opportunities for training, mentoring and networking support is being provided to young entrepreneurs, women enterprise leaders and individual enterprises/organisations ( with the social and creative domains). During the inception phase, 300 social and creative enterprise/organisations (including intermediaries) are being prioritised for support and linked with UK sector organisations. Capacity of 600 young social/creative aspiring enterprise leaders is being built through training programme and mentor networks.

Gender and Inclusion Statement

Women entrepreneurs and women led enterprises in Pakistan is being prioritised through a separate strand under this programme. Specific interventions to support women entrepreneurs at institutional, individual and policy levels are being designed and implemented. As a result of these interventions, women entrepreneurs will have enhanced capacity and skills as business leaders, better access to networks and finance, increased number of jobs created through establishment of new enterprises as well as growth of existing ones. Women entrepreneurs who have already established businesses in the social/creative sectors but require access to skills, knowledge, networks to grow and/sustain their businesses. 300 women social/creative entrepreneurs/leaders will have developed businesses that create more jobs, develop new products and services, and have improved access to markets (including digital) and the potential to attract investment as a result of the programme interventions.

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