The US Embassy in Pakistan has launched a new program to help women entrepreneurs start their own businesses.
Image source: AP
Islamabad: As part of the “Academy of Women Entrepreneurs” (AWE) program, the US embassy in Islamabad has created the first incentive for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan to help them set up their own businesses.
The Embassy Public Affairs Ministerial Councilor Ray Castillo welcomed more than 70 Pakistani women entrepreneurs to celebrate the launch of the academy.
Initiative aims to empower Pakistani women
The U.S. State Department’s program, he said, supports women worldwide, and the launch of the initiative in Pakistan is part of an ongoing effort to empower Pakistani women to realize their economic potential and create conditions for greater stability, security and prosperity for all Pakistanis .
Pakistan’s involvement will build on continued support from female executives and raise the profile of local start-ups. Castillo praised the achievements of young Pakistani business women and spoke about the determination all entrepreneurs need to be successful.
“As your skills and confidence grow during this program, I hope that you will be able to build your business not on naysayers’ views but on an established belief in yourself and your ability to adapt to changes in the marketplace. ” he said.
3 month rigorous online course
With mentoring and guidance from established Pakistani entrepreneurs, participants in the program will complete a three-month rigorous online course using the Dream Builder platform developed by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and American natural resource company Freeport McMoran.
AWE is designed to develop entrepreneurial know-how, help women entrepreneurs find funding opportunities, improve business expansion opportunities, and increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial success.
The Lincoln Corners in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Larkana and Peshawar will run AWE Pakistan with support from the Pakistan-American Cultural Center and the DOVE Foundation.
Participants also have the opportunity to apply for start-up funding for the US mission to Pakistan to further expand their businesses.
Huge opportunities to keep growing your business
Upon graduation, they will join the AWE global network, which provides further growth opportunities, as well as the US exchange program alumni community.
In the meantime, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has announced that it will develop initiatives to bring more women into the field of business for their economic empowerment.
ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said in a speech by the Women Workers Alliance, organized in collaboration with the Organization for Sustainable Social Development, that women make up almost half of the total population of Pakistan and that it is important to get them into the mainstream of the economy integrate to improve their contribution to economic development.
“We at the ICCI are working on equal pay policies for men and women, and all public and private institutions should adopt equal pay policies to promote gender equality,” said Khan.