The Social Innovation Lab (SIL) was founded by students and alumni of the Lahore University of Management Sciences to link driven and socially conscious LUMS students with social and economic problems throughout Pakistan. The heart of the Social Innovation Lab is “the Hatchery,” an early-stage incubator for mission-driven entrepreneurs.
Each semester, approximately 20 students and recent graduates from across Pakistan participate in a four-month program, with trainings held twice a week. Trainings focus on technical business skills, personal development, leadership, human centered design and social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs receive mentoring and individual guidance from members of the SIL staff, as well as access to external mentors and support from SIL’s extended network.
Just as important to the young entrepreneurs is having a collaborative, comfortable space to experiment and test ideas. The Hatchery facilitates informal mentoring and a sense of belonging, and the cohort model allows participants to focus on their own enterprises, while also working collaboratively across projects.
SIL has gradually expanded its reach, supporting its entrepreneurs in community engagement and immersion programs in Hunza and Thar, and collaborating with the Overseas Development Institute and the British Council to research the landscape of social entrepreneurship in Pakistan. SIL has also expanded to the UK to support and thought partner with social entrepreneurs in Europe.
SIL Co-Director TEDx Talk: “Change of the Social Kind”