U.S. Department of State has opened the first of many Co-Working/Incubation Space for Women Entrepreneurs and Freelancers in Islamabad, Pakistan. The center is named as Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE) and it aims to empower women and promote women entrepreneurship both in Pakistan and globally.
Women Entrepreneurs are integral part for economic growth and prosperity of any country and it is important to tap their talent for solving problems in Pakistan. However, it is also true that they often face disproportionate barriers, including gender-based, cultural and social discrimination. Keeping this in view, WECREATE Centers are designed to be safe and in centralized locations where women can access essential resources needed to overcome these barriers and start to grow their businesses.
The center will conduct six entrepreneurial programs to accelerate women owned startup or existing business. These program include training and mentorship sessions – Startup Academy, Business Solutions Series, Build-A-Business Workshops, Specialized Training and entrepreneurial challenges – WECREATE Challenge and Pitch-O-Rama.
The WECREATE Islamabad Center will build the capacity of women business owners and support women-led businesses as they transition from entities operating to formally registered companies. They will also tailor its portfolio for programs, tools and events to address the unique needs of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.
WECREATE | Pakistan is being launched in partnership with the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council under a public-private partnership agreed by the U.S. Department of State in 2012. This partnership will facilitate women entrepreneurs with its wide network of companies operating in Pakistan to explore different opportunities. The Pakistan Center is also supported by a $151,000 in-kind contribution from StartUp Cup, an organization that focuses on building entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Other partners include Tie Islamabad, Change Mechanics, and the Hashoo Foundation.
WECREATE has already launched its first Startup Academy program for which applications are open. You can submit your applications here till 16th March, 2015.