ISLAMABAD: An orientation and business workshop for women was held here on Friday with the aim of realising the dream of economic empowerment and improving gender equality in Pakistan.
Over 30 entrepreneurs paired in teams and participated in the The Indus Entrepreneurs’ (TiE) first Mentors’ Orientation and Build a Business workshop designed to visually facilitate about 97 women through universal steps required to start and build a viable business.
Sean Griffin, founder and CEO of StartUp Cup Inc USA, while conducting the orientation, spoke about training and development of operations for startups. Griffin, who is on his second trip to Pakistan, told The Express Tribune that this was one of the first training programmes focused on educating mentors on how to train and support women entrepreneurs.
He said “They will learn how to ask strategic questions, listen more intently about what the real needs are, support pushing and motivating measures to get to the market as soon as possible.”
The mentors are likely to be part of TiE’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Center of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment Project (WECREATE), which is a physical entrepreneurial community centre likely to be launched in Islamabad early next year. This is the first of the WECREATE centres to be launched in more than 20 countries worldwide. “The team here is one of the most prolific and high-impact one” said Griffin.
WECREATE is specifically designed to end gender inequality in entrepreneurship through a portfolio of programmes, tools and events created to address the barriers faced by women who aim to start or excel in their business.
Griffin added that participants will also learn traditional models that focus on revenue development and lesser on reliability of funds. They will also be taught on how to eliminate toxics — the negative forces within the ecosystem — and work to identify them and make sure they are removed and so we have the best collection of entrepreneurs.
“You can’t increase the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs unless you increase local mentors,” said Griffin. “It is not virtual, but those with local knowledge and wisdom understand the dynamics and culture that no one else can understand from outside,” he added.
Griffin said the operations were likely to expand from the capital to Lahore, Karachi and even Peshawar.
Dalia al Said, senior community and entrepreneur development expert, said female entrepreneurs in Paksitan face the same obstacles as women across the world. However, they were successfully managing to cope with social and cultural issues along with businesses. She said women entrepreneurs in Pakistan do not just sew clothes and are involved in a myriad of businesses.
(Courtesy by Express Tribune)