Isaac Aggrey, Founder and Senior Project Manager, Women Business Center, Cape ICT Society

A social entrepreneur, Isaac has given students and community members an opportunity to grow and make a difference in the environment in which they live. He has also set a pace for young disadvantaged women to converge to share their innovative ideas and accomplishments with top business leaders of today to foster a better future for all. His expertise and mentorship has empowered young adult women, unemployed youth and graduates which has propelled them to far-reaching results thereby creating sustainable enterprises within marginalised communities in South Africa. He has a passion, strong ethical values and a sense of community development in South Africa and has participated in different forums that seek to alleviate poverty and unemployment. His inspiration lies in helping others to succeed.

The role entrepreneurship plays in the growth of a developing country, such as South Africa, is undeniable. Through the success of his entrepreneurial endeavors, Isaac has recognised the amenability of South African entrepreneurship and is ready to associate himself with all those willing to embark on entrepreneurial ventures in marginalised communities. Isaac is determined to further open the doors for those in need to find ways to help themselves and sees the “teach me how to fish” method of disseminating information as key in countries such as South Africa where resources are often limited. Isaac believes promoting gender equality and empowering women is the only powerful weapon to address unemployment, poverty alleviation, reduction of crime, restoring the moral fabric and rebuilding of family lives in the long run. He is an award winner of Young South Africa Entrepreneur, finalist of United Nations Millenium Campaign and Sukuma Afrika’s Young Entrepreneurs Competition; 2nd runner-up FNB Iketsetse entrepreneurship awards.

Selima Ahmad, President and founder, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)

Ms. Ahmad was acutely aware of the need for a national body which represented the interests and supported the initiatives of women entrepreneurs. As a successful businesswomen herself with longstanding experience in the private sector, Ahmad took the initiative to form a Chamber of Commerce devoted exclusively to facilitating the advancement of women entrepreneurs. Drawing on her business experience and involvement with several trade organizations, including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Automobile Assemblers and Manufacturers Association, Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Association of publicly listed Companies, Ahmad convinced and mobilized women entrepreneurs, the government and development partners of the need for the creation of BWCCI.

Ahmad feels that unleashing the power and potential of women entrepreneurs will have a profound effect on the national economy. Furthermore, the successes of women entrepreneurs will advance and empower women, create dynamic new employment opportunities and raise family income and living standards. BWCCI supports these initiatives by providing training, business counselling, loaning credit, acting as guarantor, and lobbying government and policy makers on behalf of business women across Bangladesh. Despite her many accolades, Ahmad’s proudest achievements are the changes that she recognises in the lives of the members due to the support of BWCCI. Ahmad, Vice Chairperson of the Nitol-Niloy Group, is the quintessential successful woman. The Nitol-Niloy Group has a strong, diversified profile which includes: a joint venture with TATA Motors of India to trade, assemble, and provide after sales support of vehicles, transport and aviation services, financial institutions, manufacturing of sugar, cement paper and luggage, real estate development, and sports promotion. Her accomplishments have earned her the title of best female entrepreneur in Bangladesh.

Shamim Akhtar, Chairperson, Women Entrepreneur Committee, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry; CEO, Care Marketing

Ms. Akhtar is among one of the very few women in Pakistan who started their business from scratch and achieved a level of success both in the national market and abroad. Getting sole agency for Pakistan from a multinational company was an up-hill task that she achieved, providing employment opportunity to many people. She has represented Pakistan business women on many national and international forums. Presently, Ms. Akhtar is Chief Executive Officer and sole proprietor of Care Marketing, which imports healthcare products from Europe and sells in the Pakistan market through their network of distribution. She previously worked as a sales executive at Smithkline & Beechum, Lahore, and as manager of training, product development, and group products at Highnoon Laboratories Lahore. In these capacities her job portfolio included market analysis, product selection, sales, marketing, training of sales staff, distribution, liason with principal foreign companies, business negotiation, imports, pricing registrations, exports, human resource evaluation, and job placement.

Working for the development of other women in the sector of economy, Ms. Akhtar was able to launch WRC, Women Resource Centre at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sept 2007. She was also honored with the Entrepreneurship Award 2008 (Gold Medal and Certificate by Directorate of Women Development Punjab). As chairperson of this centre she is providing consultation service to many women in business. Ms. Akhtar is very active in research and social work, especially for rehabilitation and treatment of mental disorders at Fountain House. Ms. Akhtar holds a bachelor of science (BSc) degree from Lahore Women University and has pursued studies in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship at universities in Pakistan and the United States.

Shehla Javed Akram, Founder President, Women Chamber Of Commerce and Industries

Dr. Akram’s career spans the medical field and the private sector. Following graduation from King Edward Medical College, she performed multiple residencies at Mayo Hospital and other hospitals. As Chief Executive and Consultant Nutritionist at Akram Medical Complex, she managed marketing, directed finance, and oversaw the Diabetes and Lipid Center and the Research Cell. She also served as Chief Executive and ISO Management Representative for Don Valley Pharmaceuticals. Her research on diabetes has been published internationally.

An active member of the business community, Dr. Akram has been chairperson of the Women Entrepreneur Federal Chamber of Commerce & Industry since 2002, executive committee member of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and member of the Pakistan Pharmaceuticals Manufacturer Association Executive Committee. She has led export promotion delegations to Uzbekistan, southern African countries, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Akram has also been Director of a health-related NGO called HEAL (Health Environment Action for Life), which has been instrumental in raising awareness about hospital waste management. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Al Mashriq University, Islamabad; an M.B.B.S. (Bachelors in Medicine and Surgery) from King Edward Medical College; and several professional diplomas in human resource management, quality management, and health.

Paula Anastasiade, Program Assistant, CIPE Regional Office in Romania

Paula Anastasiade joined CIPE’s Bucharest-based Regional Office in 2009 and is in charge of monitoring projects on a daily basis, handling logistics for various events, communication activities, performing website updates/maintenance, translation and interpretation tasks, as well as other duties, as assigned. Her previous experience includes several research assistantship appointments in the fields of Sociology, Mediation and Facilitation, as well as Urban and Regional Planning. She has also worked in the Romanian and Canadian media as writer and editor, and has some experience in the Romanian non-governmental sector, particularly in handling communication and translation tasks.

Paula Anastasiade holds an MSc in Political Science (Conflict Resolution and Governance) from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), and a B.A. with Honours in International Studies and Sociology from York University (Canada), as well as a Certificate in Law and Social Thought from York University (Canada) and a Leaders of the Third Millennium Certificate from the Codecs Foundation (Romania) and the British Council (United Kingdom). Paula Anastasiade is fluent in English and French, and she is also an intermediate-level Spanish speaker.

Kim Bettcher (Moderator), Knowledge Management Officer, Center for International Private Enterprise

Kim Bettcher leads CIPE’s knowledge management initiative, which captures lessons learned during more than two decades of democratic and economic institution-building around the world. The program identifies the core ingredients of successful reform projects, offers practical guidance in program design and implementation, and facilitates knowledge-sharing among CIPE partners and staff.

Dr. Bettcher came to CIPE from the Harvard Business School where, as a research associate, he wrote case studies for the MBA program. He received a PhD in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. At CIPE he has written and edited papers, toolkits, and case studies, especially the case collection Strategies for Policy Reform: Experiences from Around the World. He has also published articles in the Harvard Business Review, Party Politics, SAIS Review, and the Business History Review.

Camelia Bulat, Program Director, CIPE Balkan Regional Office; Executive Director, Regional Center for Organization Management

Camelia Bulat possesses over twelve years of experience in working with civil society groups (business associations, employers organizations, women representatives, advocacy watch dogs, chambers of commerce) around the world. With extensive training in managing associations and project management, and a thorough understanding of local issues, Ms. Bulat is a champion in adapting international best practices to local needs. She has worked closely and provided technical assistance to civil society organizations throughout the Balkans (Romania, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo), Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus. Based on a thorough analysis and needs assessments of these organizations, Camelia strengthened their capacity in multiple key areas, including advocating for better public policies, coalition building, creating programs and services tailored to members’ and local needs, and overall improvement of governance, management and operations.

Camelia Bulat supported the creation of CAFA (Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania), Tech 21 Coalition (Coalition of ITC professional associations in Romania), and Balkan Women Business Associations Coalition, conducted advocacy campaigns, and has organized numerous conferences, workshops, and seminars dedicated to improved operational environment of civil society organizations (CSO’s). Ms. Bulat is one of the initiators of the Regional Institute for Organization Management (RIOM), an integrated training program dedicated to building capacities within CSO’s. Since 2007 she is the Deputy Director and Board Member of the Regional Center for Organization Management, a CIPE Foundation that has already became a World Bank partner in the region. She holds an MBA from the Open University, in addition to a certificate in nonprofit organizations management from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management, a professional diploma in management, and a BA in biochemistry.

Graciela Beatriz De Oto, President, Suma Veritas Foundation

As president since 2004 of the Suma Veritas Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Graciela De Oto provides training support for the development of talented women, assuring them an equitable distribution of knowledge and empowerment. From 2006 to 2009, she was CEO of Saint Edwards College, Buenos Aires, a bilingual school for children ages 2 to 17. Prior to that she headed marketing for Grispo & Associated Law Offices, also in Buenos Aires. Her recent projects include ¨empowering women through effective training in a changing global economy,¨ ¨developing the next generation of women leaders,¨ and ¨empowering micro and small entrepreneurship women.¨

Dr. De Oto is co-author of the book Women in Latinoamerican and Caribbean Organizations and author of a number of articles. She is a winner of a Best Latinamerican Entrepreneur, Women Business Award (New York, 2008) and a TIAW World of Difference Award forEconomic Empowerment of Women (Toronto, Canada, 2010). Her professional memberships include BPW Buenos Aires, the Argentine Marketing Association, and the Argentine Entrepreneurs Association. Dr. De Oto has a Ph.D. in organizational management and a master’s in business administration from Pacific Western University, California, an MBA from Catholic University (UCA), Buenos Aires, and marketing degrees from Social and Business Science University (UCES) and Palermo University, both in Buenos Aires. A native speaker of Spanish, she also knows English, Italian, and Japanese.

Lubna Farooq, President, Sarhad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Belonging to a Conservative Pukhtun family of the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, a mother of three, Lubna Farooq was the first woman of the family to venture into the business world. Before venturing into the business world, she ran an event organising company by the name of “Rivajoona” from home, which introduced ‘thematic events’ for the first time in Peshawar. Then she started a bulk water business, by the name of “Atlantis Jumbo Water Service”, introducing bulk water in Peshawar for the first time. She plans to venture into the market with disposable bottles, launching her second brand – OH2O.

Working with SMEDA, AHAN, PASDEC and the ministry of industries, Ms. Farooq conducted training programs in marble mosaic for women of the frontier and Baluchistan, and entered this business herself. She also manufactures carpets on a small scale and supplies to a local company based at Lahore, which exports them. Her next step will be to get into International Trade, exporting carpets, marble, water, minerals and gemstones and importing new visions and technologies. For fun and to revive the tourism of the Northern areas, her husband and she launched a 4X4 Club called the Gandhara 4X4 Klub, of which she is President. This club does social work involving students, doctors, educationists and volunteers from all over Pakistan. It conducts free medical camps, school outreach programs, massive plantation drives and cleanup operations in the mountain valleys. Ms. Farooq also works with The Citizens Foundation, being their local representative for their Peshawar Chapter, and helps them build schools over the entire province. Being on the Board of Governors of WWF Pakistan, Ms. Farooq also works towards environmental and conservational programs.

Rahma Ali Hamood Hugaira, Chairwoman, Media Women Forum

With over thirteen years of experience writing in Arabic, including Yemeni newspapers and magazines, Rahma Hugaira is the author of various studies and reports focusing on democracy and women’s issues. She is creative and resourceful in generating effective ideas and ground-breaking stories, and has trained many male and female journalists in Yemen through over 30 training courses. Ms. Hugaira is Chairwoman of the Yemeni Female Media Forum, now the Media Women Forum (MWF), since 2004. Her current and previous positions include Writer and Journalist for Al-Wahdaw, Al-Eqtesadia, An-Nas, and Al-Thawri; Correspondent for Zahrat Al-Khaleej, Emirates women’s magazine; Information director, Yemen Ministry of Information; and Editor, Saba News Agency.

Ms. Hugaira is a member of the International Foundation of Journalists (IFJ), Changing Movements in Yemen, the Yemen Journalists Syndicate, and the Arab Journalists Federation. She was a founder of the Civil Society Alliance, former President of the Yemeni League to Defend Journalists, and in 2007 was a Reagan-Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. She holds a B.A. in media from Sana’a University, Media College.

Mehreen Ilahi, Founder and Owner of Majmua the Art Gallery

Trained in media communications and film production, Mehreen Ilahi has used her skills to promote awareness of Pakistani culture and heritage by encouraging entrepreneurship through the arts. Ilahi started her professional career as a model and actress in Pakistan, appearing in numerous television shows and international fashion shows. While receiving a M.S. in Film Production at Boston University, she completed a documentary entitled “Behind the Veil.” The film profiles the efforts of woman who have dedicated their lives to a particular cause and worked towards its achievement. “Behind the Veil” was well received in Pakistan, and was screened in 1995 at the MESA Film Fest in Washington, DC. In 2001, the documentary won a humanitarian award from Pakistan’s LHRLA for its depiction of the struggles of Pakistani women.

In 1994 Ilahi founded Majmua the Art Gallery, a forum for burgeoning and prominent artists to exchange ideas through their artwork in Pakistan and abroad. The gallery has expanded beyond the visual arts to include lectures by visiting scholars, literacy events, poetry recitals, and performing arts. Majmua has showcased fifteen international exhibits in cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2002, Mehreen Ilahi was awarded the Excellence Award in Fine Arts for women in the media. In 2007 she received an award for Best Woman Entrepreneur of the year. She is also an active member of the Pakistani business community. She has served as the Secretary General for the Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Karachi, and Senior Vice Chairperson of the women entrepreneur standing committee in the Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Karachi.

Roselyn Kapungu, Programme Officer, Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network

Roselyn Kapungu is currently working as a Programme Officer for the Gender, Economic Policies and Public Finance Programme at the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network. She coordinates and conducts capacity building, research, publication, advocacy and networking activities on gender and the economy. She has been instrumental in the introduction and implementation of gender budgeting at the national and local levels in Zimbabwe as a means for economic empowerment of women and promotion of equity in public resource allocation. Roselyn has interest in public policy responses to gender inequalities, particularly in the health and education sectors as these are instrumental in building human capital in a society. Roselyn has a degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe; a postgraduate degree in development and resource economics from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences; and a certificate in public policy analysis from Maastricht Graduate School of Governance.

Roselyn is currently working with a group of young women to launch a young women’s leadership institute that will facilitate knowledge and skills building among young women in Zimbabwe on a diversity of issues that are not covered in the formal educational curriculum but are crucial to their growth, empowerment and development.

Mary Njeri Kinyanjui, PhD, University of Nairobi-IDS

Mary Njeri Kinyanjui is a researcher on the informal economy (micro and small businesses) in development. She has special interests in gender concerns in the informal economy and the feminine way of doing business. Dr. Kinyanjui recently published an article entitled, “From home to jua kali spaces: entrepreneurship and female gender identity,” in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Vol 3/4 2008. She is also involved in giving motivational talks for small business entrepreneurs and youth entrepreneurship training programmes through COWA. In addition, she carries out grassroots education campaigns.

Toki Mabogunje, Toki Mabogunje & Co.

Toki Mabogunje is a business consultant interested in the growth and management of small and medium enterprises on the African continent. She has particular interest in business finance, strategic organization, business management, knowledge and skills acquisition, business development service provision, and access to markets. As Assistant Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Defence and later Senior State Counsel in the Mercantile and Industrial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Toki was involved in public sector policy formulation, regulation and monitoring of commerce and industry nationwide. Moving to the private sector, she worked as Group Head Legal and Corporate Affairs for a start up broadcast enterprise, which grew into a global business concern, Minaj Media Group. Toki was part of a dynamic management team that grew this local broadcaster into a satellite television operation. Her management expertise skills earned her the position of CEO of the American subsidiary of the Group, Minaj Inc.

Toki is presently Principal Consultant in her firm Toki Mabogunje & Co. The firm is very active in the SME sector of the economy and consults for various multilateral and bilateral agencies such as the World Bank Group, IFC, ILO, GTZ, DFID etc. Toki is a CEFE trained trainer and facilitates numerous training programmes and strategy sessions. She is a member of the board of trustees of Volunteercorps. Toki has a degree in Law from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; a postgraduate degree (LLM) in International Business Law from the University of Exeter, England and Executive Management Training in Strategic Organization and Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She is married with two grown children.

Madelein Mkunu, Founder and CEO, Leading Women of Africa
Madelein Mkunu is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Leading women of Africa, a pan-African movement uniting Women leaders in order to find ways and means to contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the continent through the unity and Economic empowerment of Women of Africa in the 21st century. She is the woman behind the 1st Leading Businesswomen of Africa Forum that took place in May 2008 in Cape Town. Madelein is the Editor of Feminar: Leading Women of Africa Magazine, a socio-economic women’s magazine that promotes Women Leadership in Africa and speaks to businesses that have identified Africa as part of their growth strategies

Ms. Mkunu has more than 14 years experience in Finance Management in various companies such as the Group Sun International (10 years) and Western Province Cricket Club, where she earned trust, a good reputation and promotions. She is also involved in Public and Motivational Speaking in business management. Her publications include “New Vision for Women of Africa in the 21st Century,” Convergence Vol 6, No 1; and “Contributions of Women in the Process of Development and unity of Africa,” in the book Diversity in Africa, the Coming of the Age of the Continent, Edited by Prof Kurt April and Marylou Shockley of Cape Town University. Madelein has a B-Com (Equivalent) degree in Accounting, a Diploma in Creative Writing and Journalism, training in Personal Development, Leadership management, and Women Entrepreneurship, as well as a Certificate of Achievement with “The Dale Carnegie Training” International (USA).

Lucia Quachey, Founder/President, Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs

Lucia Quachey (Mrs.) is an Industrialist, a Consultant and a Researcher in production-related activities of women. As an Industrialist, she established Lucia Manufacturing Enterprise in 1969 as an informal enterprise and managed the growth of this enterprise from its inception to corporate company status in 1981. She is the CEO of Lucia Manufacturing Industry Limited. As a Consultant, she relates her entrepreneurial experience to establish micro enterprises among rural subsistent women. She established Micro Rural Enterprise Development and Consultancy Company (MIREDCO) to offer consultancy services on production related activities of women. She has carried out training in entrepreneurial/management skills and business plan development for literate and illiterate women and youth. She initiated and conceptualized the Global Women Entrepreneurs Trade Fair and Investment Forum and is currently planning to host the 4th Global in May, 2009.

Mrs. Quachey is the Founder/President of the Association of Women in Development Experts (AWIDE), Founding member and past President of Ghana Federation of Business and Professional Women (GFBPW), Past Project Committee member for Africa for International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW), Founding member and Secretary General of African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE), Founder/President of Ghana Association of Entrepreneurs (GAWE), and Vice President of International Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (IFWE). She has served on numerous boards, United Nations task forces, and Ghana’s Private Sector Advisory Board. A co-author of three books, she has received two Woman of the Year awards; a fellowship for promoting Entrepreneurship and Leadership from Ashoka USA; the International Entrepreneurial Award AFWE/UNECA; and a Special Honor Award by World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises in recognition of special contributions made in the Promotion of SMEs.

Pramila Acharaya Rijal, President, Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal (FWEAN)

Ms. Rijal has worked as an English news broadcaster for Radio Nepal. She is also a freelance consultant on concept development and proposal writing in economic and entrepreneurship development. She has trained women and conducted research throughout many of Nepal’s provinces. In the SAARC region, she promoted the Chamber Village Retail Outlet, a resource information center and marketing outlet for the promotion of products of women entrepreneurs.

A leader in voluntary associations, Ms. Rijal is president of the Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal (FWEAN). She is a former member of the National Commission for Women of the Nepal Government. In addition, she has served as general assembly member of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and vice chairperson of the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council. Ms. Rijal received her bachelor’s degree from Loreto College in Darjeeling, India.

Jean Rogers, Deputy Director, Programs, Center for International Private Enterprise

Ms. Rogers has been with CIPE since January 1994. She began as CIPE’s program evaluator, then from 1995-1999 headed CIPE’s office in Budapest, Hungary, working with business and political leaders on complex reform issues ranging from small business credit to pension systems. Perhaps most importantly, during her tenure the Budapest Center assisted dozens of local business groups to become part of the policy-making process, advancing the concept of open exchange and advocacy as pillars of a strong democracy. Currently she is CIPE’s Deputy Director for Programs, working with regional staff to develop strategies and proposals as well as overseeing the organization’s knowledge management, communications, and special projects. Ms. Rogers has trained business associations and women’s groups throughout the world in strategic planning and association management. Earlier in her career she managed membership services, research programs, and conferences for a small banking association where she coordinated multi-industry task forces to shape policy solutions for increasing electronic transaction security and efficiency of government payments to individuals. She holds a Masters Degree in International Transactions (Commerce and Policy) from George Mason University in Virginia, a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in German from the University of Georgia, and is a professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Wan Rosnah, WRA Agency & Consultancy
Wan Rosnah’s passion in entrepreneurship surfaced following the completion of her Thesis of “Women Entrepreneurs in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Malaysia: Studying the Critical Success Factors” in 2006. A paper based on her thesis was accepted for the ICSB 50th Conference in Melbourne 2006. In the same year, Women’s Institute of Management published in Inspire her article “Critical Success Factors of Women-Owned SMEs: A Case Study.” The Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability published another paper titled “A Study on the Critical Success Factors of Women Entrepreneurs in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” in 2006. Ms. Rosnah boldly gives comments and advice as well as writes articles for “,” an entrepreneurial social network based in California, U.S.A. Her research interest includes women entrepreneurship and general entrepreneurship, strategy, and business.
Wan Rosnah is presently Principal Consultant and CEO in her firm WRA Agency & Consultancy based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The firm is very active in providing corporate training programmers to various large corporations and institutions and business consulting to SMEs. Her firm also offers website design, domain registration, emails setting including maintenance, and upgrading. Wan Rosnah is also skilled in designing websites and offers training in IT and website design. She has worked with a number of large MNCs and the local conglomerate in Malaysia. Ms. Rosnah holds an MBA International Management from East London University, United Kingdom. She is presently pursuing her doctorate in “Women Entrepreneurship” for the 2009 in take at the local university in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She desires to be an activist in Women Entrepreneurship and her goal is to set up her own women’s network in Malaysia some day.

Shahida Saleem, Chair, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Standing Committee on Information Technology

Dr. Saleem’s primary area of expertise is sustainable social development using emerging technologies. She has 20+ years of international business and management experience and has pioneered several social development initiatives in Pakistan. Her Projects are focused on an integrated approach to key nation building areas including education, health, commerce development and women’s empowerment, where Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) are used as enablers. Examples of her recent work in Pakistan include the Sehat First Franchised Health Clinics, A joint venture between dotz technologies and the Acumen Fund, which utilizes e-health services to connect rural patients with primary medical care and aims to create a national health network, the Catco Kids Daycare Centers, a model for the development of a National Childcare System, and Catco International which developed a Nationwide Education Management System. Dr. Saleem has contributed to numerous policy and planning documents, including new legislative drafts, for Pakistan. Her contributions can be found in the Education Policy, The National Vocational and Technical Education Plan, The Trade Policy, and the Trade Ordinance 2007.

Dr. Saleem has served as Member, Project Advisory Committee – Pakistan, The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) (; Chair, FPCCI Standing Committee on IT (; Vice Chairperson, FPCCI Standing Committee on Education; Director, Pakistan-US Business Council; and chairs the Boards of Directors of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Pakistan (, d.o.t.z technologies (, Catco Kids (, and Sehat First ( In 1998 she received a Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award (1998) from the US Chamber of Commerce. She holds a combined BS/MD degree from Sophie Davis School of Medicine, City College of New York, and a PMP from the Project Management Institute.

Hina Shah, Director, International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development

Ms. Hina Shah first demonstrated the sustainability of women’s economic empowerment with 25 women of Gujarat, of whom 16 women established non-traditional businesses and are still in business in 2008. Following the successful implementation of this strategy all over Gujarat, women were recognized as economic contributors and entrepreneurs by policymakers and financial institutions, as well as at home. The movement was taken to all other states of India and has become a national movement with over 500 organisations working for women’s economic empowerment. In order to institutionalize this expertise, Ms. Shah established the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), Ahmedabad, India, in 1986. ICECD, a non-profit voluntary organization, is a pioneer in the field of women development. ICECD received a Gujarat Women Development Award from the Government of Gujarat in 2007 and was recognized as a Centre of Excellence by UN-ESCAP in 1997.

Hina Shah has particular expertise in education, training and socio economic development in inter cultural situations with women ethnic minority community as well as management of socio–economic development projects with children, youth and families at risk. She has skills in all stages of project/programme design, management and evaluation and in the use of participatory approaches in these areas of work. Prior to forming ICECD she was a training executive at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, and a project officer at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, India. She holds a Master of Science in Chemistry from the University of Baroda, Gujarat. Her vision continues to be the economic empowerment of women, but the final mission is the achievement of full equality and total all-around development of women.

Carmen Stanila, CIPE Romania

Carmen Stanila has been working with CIPE Romania Office since 2000. She has experience promoting CIPE’s message in local communities and at industry conferences. She has organized several round table discussions and coordinated business surveys and conferences. She also oversees internal office affairs and finances. Prior to joining CIPE she served with Citizens Democracy Corps – Romania. She holds a degree in French and English from the University of Bucharest and a Professional Certificate in Management from the Open University, UK. She is currently studying to get her MBA from the Academy of Economics Bucharest and the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers Paris.


  1. Zaharah Abd Jalal:

    I read your column with great interest. I belong to the Women Entrepreneur Network Association (WENA)of Malaysia. I’m inspired by those women achievements. I’m finding ways to assist our 150 members to upgrade our strategic business knowledge so that we could grow and expand globally.

    Our members are mostly involved in the services sector especially ICT, serving both local and international MNCs, while others are involved in manufacturing, retailing and various other sectors.

    We look forward to networking and exchanging innovative ideas, as well as attain international exposures.

  2. Dr Anisa Dani:

    I am graduate from the University of Manchester, UK. I live in UK, but originally from Africa. I am shouting loud for any sister out there who could help me to start work somewhere or business. I have PhD in education and devlopment and other qualifications,I have nothing. Please don’t ignore this message; I am desperate for your help.

  3. lawrence mutembei:

    j am taking phd research on-”Groth strategies of women entrepreneurs and community development” at Chuka university

  4. Khalida Saleem Khan:

    Dear Anisa Dani,

    I got moved with your request of help u to do something.

    Dear i am from Pakistan, lives in city of Karachi, doing Trading business (Import/Export and local trading too). Mostly Textile items, readymade garments, Fabric, Rice from Pakistan, Fresh veg & fruits from Pakistan, now please let me know in which product you are interested so that we can start a Joint buiness of our own……….. when u r so much keen to do some kind of business than, pls come forward , so we could start any thing buying and selling.

    Waiting for your reply asap
    my email
    Khalida Khan
    0092 301 4031939
    SK International

  5. ottilia chikosha:

    A social enterprenuer .The founder and executive director of the Harare-based Regional Export Promotion Women’s Trust. Ms Chikosha is a graduate Educationist from the University of Zimbabwe and strongly advocates for the inclusion of gender on trade issues, with specific focus on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), advocacy for non-state actors around market access, regional integration processes and export market development issues, projects and programmes. She has experience in designing packages for trade missions and trade exhibitions, export market research strategies and monitoring and evaluation tools for projects that promote inter-regional trade in Southern Africa.her biggest achievement so far is that in 2010 Mrs Chikosha managed to engage the World Trade Organisation WTO 2010 Public Forum on How can the trade at WTO help to create economic empowerment opportunities for women.Please follow the

  6. seraphine r:

    I have a masters in entrepreneurship. I would like to help women entrepreneurs in kenya on startups.How do I GET A FORUM.

  7. Kim Bettcher:

    Seraphine, if you’re asking about technology, the easiest route is to use LinkedIn or Facebook, or whatever medium is most used in Kenya. More importantly, a forum is about developing relationships with people and sharing information of value to them.

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