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Women Empowerment through Entrepreneurship Development

A Food technology exhibition organized by Economics Department, JUW to encourage Women Entrepreneurship

It has been three years being the part of Jinnah University for Women that I teach Marketing Economics to Food Science Technology students, with the support of my chairperson Mr. Sajid and dear colleague Ms. Anum our department organizes grand exhibition on every World Food Day with reference to course content. Although my peripheral objectivity of the event is to create innovation in food technology and varieties but core purpose is to encourage women participants to become entrepreneurs by using their productive and marketing skills with health awareness. For this, I have to become a leader of around 200 students, usually students get nervous and experience lack of self-confidence while representing their products, for their motivation factor that a student who herself has gone through those challenges I have to be involved in their every single task that starts from creation and innovation to packaging and marketing of their products. This year I invited representatives like CEOs and Head of R&D from different leading food industries like Engro Foods, National Foods, Pie in the Sky, Hilal foods, Popular Group of Industries, K&N’s, National Alliance for Safe Food (NAFS)etc, who came to judge, evaluate, counsel and encourage students for their future perspective.

JUW

The administration of Jinnah University For Women also supported with all the requirements needed for the exhibition as their goal is to spread women empowerment with education. While Students used creative strategies to make their products healthy and successfully presented in front of judges. Marketing strategies like branding and positioning, product differentiation, cost effectiveness etc, to make good sense between the product and the aim of making the product. This strategy worked well to attract their customers and captured a good number of customers.

A well-known name in Pakistan, Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, who is the proud recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz awarded by the president of Pakistan and Vice Chairman, Baig group of Companies, a multinational conglomerate engaged in diversified industrial and commercial activities operating in Pakistan and Morocco also came and appreciated personally to every participant. He was also amazed while looking the innovative food products that can bring revolutionary health change in the food industries. Food exhibition of culinary skills qualifies as entrepreneurship considering the fact that most of today’s restaurants have broken the conservative approach and have gone global whilst absorbing latest global trends. The most important thing is the passion in woman for work which can take you to the top, without the stereotype set norms of the industry. We have people like Nigella Lawson, who followed their passion and made a platform for themselves. Same goes with ladies like Tarla Dalal and Madhur Jaffrey who never had a formal degree in cooking but the love for cooking made her world famous.

 

In a contemporary world where the professions for women are not limited to medical and arts, the students now a day’s want to explore several fields. Entrepreneurship is the one arising field that encourages women to work even at home. The women in a developing world have to accept challenging role to meet her personal needs and become economically independent. According to World Bank, Pakistan has the world’s lowest rate of women’s entrepreneurship with only one percent of female entrepreneurs compared to 21 percent of male and 12 percent of firms in Pakistan have female participation in ownership compared to more than 18 percent in south Asia and 34 percent globally.

Being the course instructor, I try to have a positive influence around my female students, making them identify their problems and encouraging them to stand up against anything which bothers them. I believe that Entrepreneurship can play a bigger role in meeting these challenges, through more productive self-employment, a more vibrant SME (small and medium enterprise) sector, and greater opportunities for women and youth.

The writer is a Lecturer in Jinnah University for Women and Visiting faculty in University of Karachi in the department of Economics. She could be reached on Twitter account:@sarahhak

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