The First International Conference on Entrepreneurship (ICE) 2015; a joint initiative of Isra University, Hyderabad and Ball State University, USA; was held from 16 to 17 March at the Asadullah Kazi Auditorium of Isra University with Prof. Dr. Hameedullah Kazi, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Isra University and Prof. Dr. Kenneth Holland, Director of Centre for International Development, Ball State University acting as the chair of the conference. ICE 2015 was based on the theme of ‘Business and Innovation for Societal Development’. This first international conference in the history of Hyderabad, Sindh was a product of a three year MoU signed between the two universities, and was seen as a means of strengthening research alliance between them.
The two-day conference was organized to explore the myriad opportunities, possibilities and problems that exist as a result of increasing demand on existing resources and infrastructure. Moreover, it was also an endeavour to assist the academia and relevant stakeholders to reshape their strategies to adopt novel and creative approaches in order to teach and promote the culture and spirit of entrepreneurship. Consequently, approximately 25 papers from national and international authors that addressed challenges, opportunities and strategies pertaining to the promotion of entrepreneurship to build better and prosperous societies were selected for the conference.
The conference opened with addresses from Prof. Dr. Hameedullah Kazi, Joint Chair and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Isra University; Prof. Dr. Kenneth Holland, Joint Chair and Director of Centre for International Development, Ball State University; Prof. Dr. Ghulam Qadir Kazi, Vice-Chancellor, Isra University; Prof Dr. Asadullah Kazi, Chancellor Isra University and Chief Guest of ICE 2015; and Dr. Qamar Mahar, Chair, Organizing Committee and Assistant Professor, Isra University.
Prof. Dr. Ghulam Qadir Kazi, Vice-Chancellor, Isra University in his address reinforced that successful entrepreneurship is vital for the advancement and development of a society. Moreover, the growing scarcity of prevalent resources presents a challenge of effective utilization, but at the same time also opens a plethora of opportunities for innovation and technological advancement, he added.
Seeing this conference as an aid to the government authorities in revising their policies, the chief guest Prof. Dr. Asadullah Kazi, Chancellor, Isra University said that appropriate policies are the need of the time with competition becoming global and economic and social development of a country relying so heavily on successful small and medium enterprises.
The keynote speakers at the conference were Prof. Dr. Mats Westerberg, Professor, Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden; Dr. Julie Barker Lebo, Evaluation Systems Expert, Centre for International Development, Ball State University, USA; Prof. Dr. Yar M. Ebadi, Dean, College of Business, Kansas State University, USA; Dr. Mehtab Karim, Professor, George Mason University, Virginia, USA and Prof. Dr. Asadullah Kazi, Chancellor, Isra University. The conference was attended by the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of Isra University, faculty members and students of Isra University; authors from various cities of Pakistan and other countries such as Australia, Austria, Algeria and United Kingdom; and delegates from Ball State University.
During the conference many interesting key issues in respect of entrepreneurship and enterprise development, including the status of women entrepreneurship, being faced especially by Pakistan were brought to public attention.
In their closing speech, Prof. Dr. Hameedullah Kazi, and Dr. Qamar Mahar acknowledged the contributions of all the researchers and the efforts put in by all the organizing committee members while also stressed the role played by such conferences in identifying the critical issues and suggesting the appropriate course of action to the policy makers for a prosperous, stable society. Later, awards and certificates were also distributed among the distinguished researchers.