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Women Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

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Women Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

Women Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

In this globalized and advanced world females are also making their mark in the market. They are not only creating wealth and jobs but at the same time they are also providing diversified and innovative touch to the existing system. Today women represent the fastest growing segment of small business and educated population which has resulted in more stable and stronger version of a country’s economy. In this current era of communication and technology, women are at leading position at every front, especially in various fields of ICT like e-commerce, information technology, engineering and software development and entrepreneurship. Their role in a nation’s growth and prosperity cannot be denied today.

The startup culture in Pakistan is thriving and positive thing about that is number of women we see participating in these ventures

If we look at the international history, we find many names of ambitious women in the world of technology. In 1837 Charles Babbage invented first mechanical computer the “Analytical Engine” and its first programmer was a lady named Ada Lovelace. Janie Tsao of Taiwan started a wireless and networking Retailer Company which was bought by Cisco later.

Today women represent the fastest growing segment of small business and educated population which has resulted in more stable and stronger version of a country’s economy

The famous computer language COBOL was written by Grace Hopper (United States). Grass Hoppe is also known as ‘Pioneer of Computer Science’. Marrisa Mayer (United States) latest CEO of yahoo and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook have also earned their names in search engine technologies and social media networks.

We talk about women empowerment but even today females face a number of challenges. In a developing country like Pakistan these challenges are even graver. There are many fields like performing arts, medicine, education etc in which women have a dominate presence in Pakistan yet they face many difficulties when they try to start their own business. But their professional role has somehow been limited in the society. The first problem faced by them is their family who doesn’t support their idea to start a new business alone. Parents think that it is not good for them to do their dealings individually because they are not sharp enough to work independently. Also, Pakistani society is gender biased with old mindsets who think that women are fragile beings who constantly need protection. This type of thinking has also created safety and security issues for women. Another major problem that women face is finding investors for their businesses. Even today investors are more inclined to hear out pitches made by males and are more skeptical about the pitches made by females. In Pakistani banking system, there is no special micro finance loan policy for women who want to start their own business even if microfinancing is provided, the requirements are so complicated making it difficult for women to fulfill them at their own.  All of these issues create a huge barrier for women to reach their true potential.

In such unfriendly working conditions for women IT is like a ray of hope as it is a vast field through which anyone can reap benefits. It has opened new door of opportunities for women especially in Pakistan. The startup culture in Pakistan is thriving and positive thing about that is number of women we see participating in these ventures.

There are many fields like performing arts, medicine, education etc in which women have a dominate presence in Pakistan yet they face many difficulties when they try to start their own business

They have shown great commitment and courage to take over their roles in technological age by using IT as a tool for their success and dominating the industry with their efficiency and creativity. Whether its Jahan Ara, the mastermind behind PASHA or Saima Anwar Rao of Plan Solutions, their stories of breaking through discrimination and other barriers brings a ray of hope to rest of the Pakistani women.

Women make 50% of the Pakistani population and they are playing a constructive role in economy of the country. The success of agriculture and small industries was only made possible with the logistic support that women provided. Women are playing a very product role in whatever industry they are working in.

Whether its Jahan Ara, the mastermind behind PASHA or Saima Anwar Rao of Plan Solutions, their stories of breaking through discrimination and other barriers brings a ray of hope to rest of the Pakistani women

Their contributions can enhance even further if they are provided with better opportunities and support; government can play a vital role in that.  MoITT and PTA recently launched “ICT for Girls” & Smart Pakistan Program where they provide training to women developers specially coming from remote areas. These initiatives are being expanded to rural areas. Telenor Pakistan also started “Naya Aghaaz” program back in August, 2015 to recruits female who had to take break form their career for their family matters and want to start over. Punjab Government’s Plan 9 has also supported women entrepreneurs with their startup projects. Government and private sectors should take more initiatives to encourage women entrepreneurs to start their own business. Public awareness programs should be developed in order to change the social norms and mindsets of people. These programs can teach society the role of woman in the society and how their contribution can be beneficial not only for themselves but also for their families and society.

MoITT and PTA recently launched “ICT for Girls” & Smart Pakistan Program where they provided training to women developers specially coming from remote areas. These initiatives are being expanded to rural areas