In this age of technology, women are as equally qualified as men. However they are not recognized in the advancing fields due to lack of opportunity. Herself is a startup providing them precisely this window of opening where women from all over Pakistan are made aware of the jobs surrounding them. The program was commenced by the entrepreneurship wing of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) who acknowledged the need of increasing number of women in workforce, even from the comforts of their homes. The participation of women in the workplace has scientifically been directly related to the economic progress. The women make up for 50% of the population and not including them in the workplace means effectively cutting the economic gains by half.
The program accommodates according to a woman’s attributes by providing a range of different sessions which focus on developing skills such as personal development, communications and presentation skills to technical and business skills. They also include photography, graphic designing, web development and on the entrepreneurial side skills like project management, operation handling, managing finances, marketing, sales, blogging. Their program will enable women to get started in the work field right after graduating from Herself.
The vision behind Herself is to bring women out of their homes and provide them with sufficient entrepreneurial education to begin their journey of entrepreneurship. So far Herself have been successful in its venture as only in 6 months, more than 100 women have been empowered due to vigorous entrepreneurial and pre-incubation training by professional trainers, which will lead them to be efficacious entrepreneurs. In November, a Graduation Ceremony was congregated for the graduates of the second cycle which comprised of 60 hard working women.
Zainab Tariq, Co-Manager Herself and Ayesha Mubashir, Marketing & PR Executive, Herself, began the Graduation ceremony. They explained to the audience what Herself was about; its vision, progress, partnerships and future plans. It was crucial to them that the audience had a perfect understanding of the program. Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board graced the ceremony and shed some light on the ongoing entrepreneurial culture in Pakistan along with the role and importance of women in the workforce. He said
“No economy can ever progress if its women don’t progress and with little job opportunities, venturing into entrepreneurship would benefit the society as a whole”.
A panel discussion was held on the topic, ‘The importance of tech in a woman’s life’ moderated by Zainab Tariq. Renowned names attended the discussion that includes Angela Braid, Co-Founder Polly and Other Stories, Anoosha Shaigan, Vice President Courting the Law and Ms. Sadaffe Abid, Co-Founder CIRCLE. These aspiring women have set example for all women of Pakistan.
After the panel discussion, a Business Idea Competition was held among three trainees of the second cohort where each of them presented their own business idea. TeamUp by Sayyada Huda was deemed the winner by the panelists. TeamUp is a platform where every sportsperson can make a team online and play whenever he/she wants.
Nabeel A. Qadeer, Director Entrepreneurship Punjab Information Technology Board concluded the ceremony. He congratulated and praised all graduates, also wishing them the best of luck for their future endeavors. He said,
“Our nation cannot progress without the women participating for the greater good of Pakistan. Believing in them and providing them the right guidance will not only set them on the path to success but also bring benefit to Pakistan’s economy. Herself is set to achieve the same.”