District Mardan of NWFP in terms of trade and business has a significant position in the province. There exists an untapped potential for the promotion and development of trade and industry. However due to lack of entrepreneurial skill and professional training, the ability of local businesses to flourish and contribute to the economic development is hindered.
The business environment for women in Mardan reflects the complex interplay of many factors, which fall into two basic categories. The first category is made up of social, cultural, traditional and religious elements. The second category is induced by the factors of the first component, taking the form of constitutional structures, policy documents, regulatory arrangements and institutional mechanisms. However, women in Mardan do not have access to basic technical training to optimize their potential and generate sources of income.
Under the Business Support Organization (BSO) grant program, CIPE in collaboration with The Mardan Chamber of Commerce & Industry has established a training and resource center with the capacity to develop entrepreneurial, business and computer skills for its women members. The computer training center was inaugurated in April 2008 at MCCI.
The computer center is now acting as a valuable resource to those living and working in remote areas of North West Frontier Province (NWFP). It was the first breakthrough that women were brought to the limelight. They were informed about the usefulness of this computer center. Although the Pashtoon tradition is one of the impediments, yet they were able to function this computer center. Prior to the installation of this computer center one can imagine the difficulties with which they were confronted with. Now the position is that young graduate girls and even the married females are attracted.
Due to these efforts of CIPE, Mardan Chamber of Commerce has imparted training in computers to a number of women and developed a pool of 150 women entrepreneurs and also has filed provisional application for establishing a separate women’s chamber in this region. A day is sure to come when women in this region will play an effective role by contributing their share toward the economic growth of the country.
Huzaifa Shabbir Hussain
Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)