Women are turning to entrepreneurship to escape the glass ceiling and to avoid sexism at the workplace. It offers them the freedom to live the way they want and fulfill their potential. Female entrepreneurs have to cope with many challenges while setting up their business including the stereotypical attitude of the society, especially in Pakistan.
This small video series featuring Fawzia Naqvi will give you all the tips to set up a business and raise investment as a startup, especially as a woman entrepreneur in Pakistan.
About Fawzia Naqvi
Ms. Naqvi is a former Vice President of Soros Economic Development Fund of Open Society Foundations where she had prime shareholder responsibility for SEDF’s investment portfolio in India as well as fund investments in Mexico and a Micro-Insurance fund which invests in Africa and Asia. In addition, Ms. Naqvi co-founded Open Society Foundations Economic Policy think tank in Pakistan called Institute for Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), based in Lahore, and serves as a member of its Board. Prior to leaving OSF in December 2016, Ms. Naqvi worked with a team to build Open Society Foundation’s new Economic Advancement Program.
1. What investors look for
Investors look for three things: the execution ability of your team, the problem you are going to address and your financial understanding. Your team members should have requisite qualification and experience in their respective areas. Also, you should know your target market and what problems you are trying to solve. You’ve to show the investors that your business will be profitable if you want to get seed funding.
2. Pakistan’s Investor Eco-System: Women Need to Be Prepared
The startup ecosystem in Pakistan is capital-starved. There are only a few seed investors who have a monopoly in the market. They behave in a predatory manner and make huge demands from the entrepreneurs. Women should not get intimated by such investors and they should hire good lawyers who know the ins and outs of the corporate law. Being a woman, you should learn to counter-negotiate or else investors will demand your business.
3. Women-Led Businesses: Raising Investment
Doing a business is a lot more difficult for women than it is for the male-counterparts. Women are discouraged on every step they take. Women should be strong and tough and should not worry about what others are saying. Investors are looking to make a profit. The ultimate decision investors make is not gender-based but capital-based. You should show investors the ways to preserve capital and make a profit through your business if you want to raise investment.
4. Time to Raise the Game as Women Entrepreneurs
Women should work hard and raise their game. They should pick the mentors and lawyers carefully. Also, women should encourage and promote other women. They should be each other’s support system. Being a business woman, you should try to hire qualified women and mentor them.
These videos are brought to you by Women’s INC (Inspiration Network, and Conversation) powered by WomenX. This community provides women entrepreneurs with access to relevant resources and networks and works to positively change the perception of people about them.