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An insight into entrepreneurial capabilities of top Pakistani women

Pakistan has the lowest rate of female entrepreneurship in the world, with merely 1% of female entrepreneurs compared to 21% of male entrepreneurs. Access to finance is one of the factors that has prevented women from engaging in entrepreneurial activities, with only 5% of women having access to an account at a formal financial institution. Beyond this, there are many structural, institutional and socio-cultural barriers that restrict the entrepreneurial capabilities of Pakistani women. Below are some examples which show that we can bring more women into the formal financial sector.

Chimera (Laraib Zamir)

Laraib Zamir has emerged among a group of youngsters being capable to work as a multitasking professional in spite of her inabilities. She is a source of inspiration and motivation for young ladies who could not manage to initiate any startup and feel discouraged due to social issues. Through consistent behavior and perseverance, she has been able to explore herself as a change maker. She wants to work for women empowerment and youth could benefit from her experiences. She has the primary focus to create awareness and proper platform for others where each person could become an entrepreneur on their own. Presently, she is working with many collaborative companies and aims to work as a graphic designer, front/back end developer and programming genius.

PixelArt Games Academy (Sadia Bashir)

The video game industry is the second largest industry in the world. The trend of video game development and designing is increasing day by day in Pakistan and is proving to be fruitful for the economy as video game geeks of our country are competing at international level. Globally, many women are working in the field of gaming industry, but in Pakistan the video game industry is considered as a male dominated field. Sadia Bashir has managed to break this stereotype and came forward as a successful female video developer, designer and artist of Pakistan.

Currently, Sadia Bashir is the co-founder of Pixel Art Games Academy (PGA). It is a platform for the gaming developers who want to pursue their careers in gaming industry. Presently, it provides workshops and training sessions to make sure that the budding video game artists receive the best education and guidance so that Pakistan could compete globally in the gaming industry with high quality standards and development.

The story of Sadia is an inspiration for all those women entrepreneurs who want to try their hands in unique or male dominated fields. She has in fact become a role model for many people through her achievements, especially the female entrepreneurs of our country.


ZA (Fizza Shabbar)

Fizza Shabbar is a young talented Pakistani car designer. Her claim to fame is being the first Pakistani woman who converted a Vespa scooter into a car which took four years. She is now making customized bicycles and motorbike hoods for avid bike lovers. She is also the first woman to have participated in PakWheels off-road rally event in 2016 and got first prize.

BlackBox Connect # 18 Program USA (Sana Farooq)

The strength of Pakistani technical talent specially in the field of science and technology is remarkable. Pakistani young individuals are among a few of the global startup founders having the purpose of solving global issues. Sana Faroooq comes up as the only Pakistani female entrepreneur who got a remarkable achievement by starting a valuable concept of e-learning and being able to be among the list in BlackBox Connect # 18 program members in the US.

Ashraf Chaudry Associates (Urooj Iqbal)

Urooj Iqbal is serving as Chief Commercial Officer and business partner at Ashraf Chaudry Associates since 2014. Her core strengths are engineering management, marketing and sales, advertising and recruitment. In 2015, she managed to generate PKR 4-5 million business for her company.

Apart from the above, following are top 10 young female entrepreneurs in Pakistan:

  1. Sidra Qasim (Founder: Markhor)
  2. Arusha Imtiaz (Founder: Edjunction)
  3. Sehr Said (Founder: BeautyHooked)
  4. Rameeza Moin (Founder: Transparent Hands)
  5. Sana Khan Niazi (Founder: Paimona)
  6. Saba Gul (Founder: Popinjay)
  7. Sihah Waris Shaikh (Founder: RiseMom)
  8. Sana Farooq (Founder: The e-Learning Network)
  9. Wajiha Kanwal (Founder: Affordable.pk)
  10. Shanza Khan & Rabab Fatima (Founder: Bolo Tech software)
The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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