Pakistani technology and business industry face a severe lack of women representation from the bottom to the top of the pyramid. In order to tackle this issue, there has been a constant conversation and activism to get more women in workplaces and leadership roles, however, not much real effort has been done on ground level to encourage, help, and train women to enter the technology and business industry.
A co-working space specifically designed for women entrepreneurs in Islamabad, WeCreate has taken this responsibility to help women build sustainable business ventures. Their flagship program Startup Academy aims to serve women by offering a program that has been specially designed to accelerate the startup process. During this 10-week program, women-led startups undergo experiential business-building sessions. With a panel of over 30 mentors, Startup Academy offers hands-on one-to-one mentoring and coaching sessions to enable startups towards revenue generation. The essential business aspects that are touched upon during Startup Academy include Branding, Business Model, Team Building, Customer Development, Game Plan, Bootstrapping, Branding, Marketing PR and Social Media, Art of the Pitch, Financial Modelling and Intellectual Property Laws.
For startups, one of the most important factors is to register as a company. With Startup Academy, startups get donated legal services for forming a company. As they say, ‘Your network is your net worth’; if you enroll to be part of Startup Academy, rest assured, you will be introduced to a large network of entrepreneurs, funding sources, and specialists in the startup process.
Startup Academy’s applications are open for startups operating in a wide range of areas, from agriculture, textiles, arts, restaurants, home businesses, retail stores, technology, green tech, web and mobile and licensing to professional services and franchising. Since 2015, 30 female-led startups have graduated from Startup Academy and are now running successful businesses.
Sumera Abbasi, Manager WECREATE Pakistan reveals,
“In a country such as ours, women barely take part in business and when they do, they hardly ever reach their full potential. Pakistan needs more women entrepreneurs who need the support system and the tools to make their businesses a success.”
Among the numerous incubators and accelerators, a distinguishing factor is that Startup Academy focuses on women-led startups, especially those operating in Islamabad, offering them the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to shine and flourish.
“I run She’Kab, which is a subscription based car-pooling service for working women. During my time with Startup Academy at WECREATE, what I liked best was the presence of a dedicated space for women, networking, and mentoring. WECREATE helped us grow by providing the guidance and support we needed to initiate the service. While we started with a fleet of 5 cabs, we’ve till date served 600 monthly riders with a small fleet of 50 cabs driven by men and some cars are driven by women”, states Hira Batool Rizvi, the Founder of SheKab.
WECREATE Pakistan operates with the objective of supporting women entrepreneurs’ and small businesses’ growth with the belief that it is pivotal to the country’s economic growth. For this WECREATE employs non-traditional innovative methods to promote entrepreneurial growth. If you’re a female entrepreneur with an incredible idea and want to build up your business and take it to the next level, this program will be a great head start. Applications are open till 1st August 2017. Apply now!