Posts tagged ‘Pakistan’

Recommendations for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Peshawar

Pakistan – The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, working under a small grant from CIPE, has put forward to the regional government a set of policy recommendations to benefit women entrepreneurs in the region. This week the Chamber held a closing event for over 100 participants. The Education Minister agreed to consider including basic business education at the middle school level across the province and a regional focus group for women entrepreneurs will be formed to work on the other policy recommendations. The event was widely covered by the press, including:,, and

Blog by Hammad Siddiqui: “Entrepreneurship Development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update

Pakistan – The Uks Research Centre partnered with the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) to host the “Women in Media Awards” in Karachi. The ceremony recognized four first-place awardees and three runners-up in the areas of print, television, radio, and online. The awards celebrate women journalists from across Pakistan whose work has generated better awareness and understanding of gender equality and women’s role in the society. The ceremony attracted more than 50 attendees, and CIPE Pakistan Deputy Country Director Hammad Siddiqui presented on the importance of training journalists to support the democratic process. Uks also used the occasion of International Women’s Day to launch its new guidebook, Powerful Women – Powerful Nation, which will serve as a training tool and guide for journalists to conduct gender-sensitive reporting. Read more about the winners on the CIPE Development Blog:

CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update

Nigeria – CIPE hosted a workshop in Lagos for 26 women participants representing 17 business and professional organizations throughout Nigeria. Facilitated by CIPE Nigeria Country Director Wumi Gbadamosi and CIPE consultant Carmen Stanila, the workshop focused on advocacy techniques for promoting policies that improve the business environment for women. The participants learned about the elements of building an effective advocacy campaign and laid the foundation for a network of women business associations by developing the mission, goals, membership categories, structure, and the groups’ rules for the network. This is the second workshop in a series, which is part of CIPE’s program to enhance the participation of Nigerian business women in decision-making.

Pakistan – The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized its first focus group meeting as part of a CIPE-funded initiative to identify and address policy-related barriers to the development of women’s entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Access to finance was highlighted as a major issue that will need to be addressed, both to encourage greater participation by women in entrepreneurship and to support the expansion of women-owned firms.

Afghanistan – The Impressive Consultancy Company and the Women’s Economic Empowerment Center conducted an exhibition of products made by women-owned businesses on February 14 to mark Valentine’s Day. Several students from CIPE’s Tashabos youth entrepreneurship course participated in the event, setting up booths to display and sell their products, providing them with a chance to improve their marketing skills.

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CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update

Pakistan – CIPE completed a diagnostic report on the development of women’s chambers of commerce in Pakistan. The research shows that of eight registered women’s chambers, currently only five are functioning effectively. The report indicates that while these chambers have increased their membership, they continue to have deficits in governance, income generation and sustainability, and service delivery for members. Using this information, CIPE plans to develop a range of capacity-building initiatives for Pakistan’s women’s chambers, and will also integrate these organizations into current efforts to build a region-wide network of women’s business organizations.

Zimbabwe – CIPE partner the Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ) conducted a Womenomics Dialogue Forum in cooperation with its members the Professional Women Executives and Business Women’s Forum, the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Center, and Network (ZWRCN) and UN WOMEN. The Forum provided an opportunity for 55 women participants to discuss the budgetary process, focusing on women’s attitudes towards participation in the budget process and how they can advance their participation in the formal sector. The attendees were encouraged to be part of organizations that advocate on their behalf. Action plans from the Forum included addressing women’s lack of knowledge of the budgetary process and the resulting disadvantages. Several of the host organizations pledged to provide support to these action plans. For example, ZWRCN will be responsible for research and obtaining information on gender-based budgeting, PROWEB will ad vocate for a quota system were women can sit in on decision-making boards, and WABAZ will disseminate information to its members to increase women’s participation in budgetary process.

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Women Entrepreneurs Mark Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan

Originally posted on the CIPE Development Blog

The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PWCCI) celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week with an event held in partnership with CIPE and the Kauffman Foundation on November 15. More than 50 students and lecturers from various Peshawar universities gathered to discuss both the hurdles facing women entrepreneurs in Pakistan, as well as the reasons why the Peshawar region lags behind other parts of the country in producing entrepreneurs. Speaking at the event, PWCCI Vice President Shamama Arbab noted that while young people in Pakistan have no lack of potential, a challenging business climate makes it difficult for them to harness their skills and capabilities.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Index, Pakistan lags in the number of start-ups, with less than half the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity than comparable countries. CIPE Pakistan Deputy Country Director Hammad Siddiqui commented that young Pakistani graduates tend to seek employment in multinationals after graduation, rather than considering the option of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, he noted, “To turn around Pakistan’s economy, women need to participate in the mainstream, including by starting their own businesses.”

During the discussion it was stressed that business development centers should be established to incubate new firms, and that chambers and associations can play a key role in mentoring students who are considering entrepreneurship, as well as new entrepreneurs. The participants emphasized that the government should promote an entrepreneurial culture, and universities should introduce entrepreneurship in the curriculum. The student also noted that the media can play a role in encouraging young people to make their careers in business.

For more information about this event, as well as another event marking Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan held in conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, please see more on the Business Support Organization Forum, an online resource for Pakistani chambers.

Analyzing Returns on Investing in Women

Cartoon by Laura Noreikaite, Lithuania from the
CIPE Global Editorial Cartoon Competition


Women are the ultimate drivers of their own empowerment, but there are many things the private sector can do to facilitate their progress.

In The Business of Empowering Women, McKinsey & Company researchers examine what companies can do to contribute to women’s empowerment at every stage of a woman’s life, “from infancy through adolescence, income readiness, employment, entrepreneurship, and ultimately to financial security and leadership.” They make many suggestions, including enabling access to safe on-site childcare for employees, supporting scholarships for girls, and providing vocational and business-skills training.

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CACCI Women Entrepreneurs Council Newsletter

Volume 6 of the GROW newsletter features an overview of women’s entrepreneurship in Asian developing countries by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which profiles women’s business organizations in the region and makes recommendations for the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship. The issue also includes a description of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan by Arjumand A. Qazi, highlights from the CACCI Women Entrepreneurs Council session at the 2011 CACCI Conference in Istanbul, and more.

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Women of Pakistan Climbing up the Entrepreneurship Ladder

Each year Uks, a research, resource and publication center on women and media, publishes its Annual Desk Diary. This signature product is a handy organizational tool that also provides a well-rounded view of a particular theme chosen for that year. Past editions have covered a variety of topics including women’s empowerment through education, the struggle for legal rights, and striving for power and visibility in the media. Inspired by its work with CIPE and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries to create a series of radio programs about women entrepreneurs, Uks chose entrepreneurship as the main theme of this year’s Desk Diary.

Women of Pakistan: Climbing up the Entrepreneurship Ladder features a collection of success stories, news articles and essays about women entrepreneurs in Pakistan maneuvering through a complex and challenging business environment. The success stories below are just a taste of what can be found in the complete 2011 Desk Diary available for purchase by contacting the Uks office directly.
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CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update

Washington – CIPE is hosting a webinar on Success Stories in Women’s Economic Empowerment from Bangladesh with Selima Ahmad, founder and president of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on Friday, September 30 at 9:00am Eastern Standard Time. Ms. Ahmad will share stories of how entrepreneurship is transforming the lives of women in Bangladesh. She will describe her experiences in helping women overcome the obstacles to equal participation in the marketplace, and share lessons on leadership in giving voice to women. Registration is still open. REGISTER HERE
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CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update

Zimbabwe - The Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ) held their first leadership committee meeting to elect their Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson and to plan the official launch of the coalition. CIPE is supporting the growth of WABAZ through its partner in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as part of a CIPE project to strengthen the voice of business associations in the country to represent the interests of the private sector in dialogue with the government Following a CIPE roundtable, WABAZ was founded in August 2011 by nine women’s business support organizations who came together to form a coalition to empower women through advocacy, dialogue, and information sharing.

Pakistan – The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PWCCI) launched its website ( this week. The site includes a membership database (a requirement of Pakistan’s Trade Organizations Ordinance) and highlights the services provided by the Chamber for women entrepreneurs in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. The website was developed under a CIPE technical assistance grant.

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