Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA) a project of USAID. PREIA works to increase Pakistan’s access to regional and international markets and is a key economic growth project that stands to benefit numerous Pakistani businesses. This project has two components: improve Pakistan’s business enabling environment so that policies, laws, and regulations are adaptable and more reflective of on-the-ground needs; and improve Pakistan’s capacity to access regional markets by identifying bottlenecks and practical solutions for increasing export efficiency.

The training session took place on Google Meet. There were approximately 30 participants in the session specifying women entrepreneurs. The session started will a quick overview of PREIA. The session was headed by Mr. Ahsan Ulhaq Siddiqui. Principal and Head of Academia, Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association – Training Institute President, ANZAAM Group and FIATA Trainer Pakistan (Since 2006).

Exports as being an essential part of economy and having an overview from last few years the way women entrepreneurs are indulged in business it is important to aware the female sector to international business as well. Trade Policy Reforms, Institutional Capacity Strengthening, Public and Private Sector dialogues and gender mainstreaming are the key factors for improving business enabling environment. As same when we talk about women leadership in trade policy (WLTP). The basic aim is to increase women participation in trade policy formation and advocacy.

The session covered main topics under the heading of Export Graduate Program are Training on export processes and benefits of formal trade. Participation in international trade exhibitions. Technical assistance for improving export potential of your products. Technical assistance for accessing international markets and mentoring form renowned industry experts. Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are the pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce relating to international commercial law. Incoterms are the are a set of 11 internationally recognized rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers. It also specifies who is responsible for paying for and managing the shipment, insurance, documentation, customs clearance, and other logistical activities.

Cargo Classification and modes of transport were also discussed in detail. The participants were familiarized with different documents required in international trade. Documents include proforma invoice, commercial invoice, freight invoice, weight note, packing list, manufacturer’s analysis certificate, certificate of inspection, certificate of Origin, Radiation Certificate, Consular invoice, Veterinary Certificate, A.T.A Carnet, Ocean bill of Lading, Airwaybill, Straight bill of lading, forwarder’s receipt, Insurance Policy, Insurance certificate, Bill of Exchange, warehouse Receipt, Trust Receipt and delivery order.

State bank of Pakistan is involved as playing a major role in foreign exchange. Foreign Exchange regulation, an to regulate certain payments, dealings in foreign exchange and Securities and the import and export of currency and bullion. WHEREAS it is expedient in the economic and financial interest of Pakistan to provide for the regulation of certain payments, dealings in foreign exchange and securities and the import and export of currency and bullion. Participants were acquainted with all the details related to custom procedures and the requirements related to exports.

Types of export packaging was also included. Consumer packaging focuses on commercial sales point. It arrives at the consumer as a sales unit. It also emphasizes on the customer convenience, market appeal, shelf utilization, product protection and branding. Whereas industrial packaging implies the movement over international boundaries. The appearance of the goods as presented for transport is very useful means to identify them.

The last topic covered was how to start Export Business. Starting up with a business plan. Leading to an export plan. Making an export strategy by establishing your objectives. Target your audience by selecting potential markets, one needs to conduct research. Secondary research can help in reviewing statistics to identify country(ies) currently buying the subject product, major cities, market size, demographics of the market, trends, and volumes or values of goods traded. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) publishes official statistics on a quarterly and yearly basis, which can be a good source for secondary research. After researching market a clear vivid scenario of finances should be written down for future cash flow and finance management. Selecting the right delivery option is also an important step in export procedure. Leading to the pricing strategy, as a small error can negatively impact the expected revenues.
An export order means something in the form of document, such as an agreement, purchase order, proforma invoice or letter of credit. In reality, this is just the beginning, as an export order is truly considered as concluded once the goods are delivered to the buyer and the payment is received in full. This involves the entire procedure of an export process. Discussing the next step, compliance and certifications. Compliance with international/national standards on quality, environment and social parameters promotes competence among organizations and is globally recognized as one of the core strategic elements to succeed in international markets, along with product pricing and delivery.
A company that represents the buyer and assists in the process of locating sources for products and services in a specific country, is referred to as a sourcing company. A sourcing company helps in procuring the required goods and services at lower price, and often provides quality assurance services as well. Both sourcing and indenting companies get commission on services from their customers.

The training ended up on question answer session between the trainer and the participants. A Pre and Post assessment form was also circulated among the participants. So they may have a complete understanding of the export processes and benefits related to exports. And how one can indulge or involve their business to international market.

 

The session took place on 24th June 2020 at Zoom. There were around 30-35 participants. This was the 1st Egyptian Pakistani Businesswomen Meetup. The basic aim of this Zoom session was to adapt best practices among SME’s in time of Covid-19 crisis. As the session was conducted between Pakistani and Egyptian business women there were 2 moderators from Egypt. Dr. Yomna El Sheridy and Ms. Sidrah Haque. Whereas from Pakistan Suniya Sadullah Khan, Founder Mauqa Online. Zara Shahjahan, Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur were the Speakers.

The Session continued for about 3 to 4 hours. Egyptian women entrepreneurs shared their business stories and talked about the product they deal in. Similarly the Pakistani women entrepreneurs also shared their side of business stories. Different opportunities for business growth was discussed between the participants for both the regions. To improve bilateral trade, was also discussed whereas the session also helped in providing linkage for institutes in both the countries.
As this was the 1st meeting to understand the product demand in Egyptian market. We will continue to coordinate with them to understand their import procedure, the certifications they required for specific products and also the price mechanism.

Product Development Hub in collaboration with USAID SMEA organized an online session for Women Entrepreneurs on Facebook’s #Shemeansbusiness Training. There were 30 participants in the session. The session took place on 10th and 11th of June 2020. It was comprised of 4 major modules. The training was headed by Ms. Aiman Saeed. She is a digital Consultant and is working with USAID SMEA for online marketing training programs.

The session started with a welcoming note of Ms. Tabeer Ather, Specialist Competitiveness Enhancement USAID SMEA. to which all the participants introduced themselves and their businesses they are dealing in.

Aiman started with introducing Online Marketing and the importance of online marketing. As marketing is the communication of one’s Business Product or service. She also gave a brief difference of marketing, brand and advertising. She also shared the formula of capturing customer attention. She ensured us to know that “Every big Business started out as a small business” All we need is long term planning motivation and dedication. Making a slight connection of linking your own story with your business can lead you to gather much engaging customers.

Later she started with the 2nd Module of the training session. This module was all about Face Book page. Difference between facebook profile and facebook page was shared. A detailed discussion went on how to make your business page on facebook starting with selecting business category to maintaining page admin roles. Including how to select a cover and profile photo. Page insights, building audience and using visuals on the page. She also covered the topic of Engaging Content and Best Practices. Here she discussed the best ways to create good and new content. She told about some photography tricks to produce good visuals. A clear brief of rule of third was also discussed. Use of sound and motion to create video graphic content. Adding up different realistic stories to your content will  also result in engaging the customer and will help build audience.

the 3rd module was all about setting up your instagram for your business. It included creating a page, creating posts, using hashtags and connecting with audience. Aiman also shared the details of how to link instagram with facebook page. Including instagram in your facebook feed. Remix your own assets, use visually pleasing images, keep your text simple and meaningful was also discussed under Instagram module. A group discussion activity was also placed within the participants. They had to create a list of 10 companies that came to their mind by looking at a visual image. The image had an capital alphabet “J” with some colorful fruits placed around.

The 4th module was about Whatsapp. How to setup business whatsapp was discussed in this module. The agenda was to share business story, objectives, audience and the unique idea one’s business processes. How to use message features, sending images, videos and documents. Sharing product information was also included. Difference between Whatsapp messenger and Whatsapp Business was discussed.

Internet and social media plays a vital role in today’s life. So having your presence on the web also makes you reflect your digital footprint on the particular social platform. One being a digital citizen, its your concern to connect with others responsibly. One also needs to be a critical thinker knowing which news or information is to be passed on. The concept of share and like leading to more viewership was briefed. Blocking and reporting is also an essential key elements in the world of social media platforms.

Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized 5th Islamabad Expo 2k19 on 14th and 15th December 2019. After 4 consecutive successful events previously organized IWCCI planned 5th Islamabad Expo. The basic aim of this event was to provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to display the products they are skilled in. There were approximately 50 exhibitors who participated from different cities of Pakistan. Islamabad expo had variety of products i.e. Textile, Handicrafts, Jewelry, Marble and some offered the services, the entrepreneurs are dealing in. There were a huge gathering and footfall of the visitors, approximately 10,000 15,000 per day. Most of the people stepped in and appreciated the exhibitors. They also took keen interest in buying their products.

The event begin with the inauguration ceremony done by Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam CEO Mobilink Microfinance Bank. Accompanied by Founder President IWCCI Ms. Samina Fazil, President IWCCI Ms. Farida Rashid and other Executive Members. After the Ribbon cutting ceremony The chief guest Mr Ghazanfar took round of all the stalls displayed by Women Entrepreneurs. He really appreciated the efforts of women entrepreneurs who are so skilled in their field.

There were number of guests who grace the event with their presence.
Ms. Sania Nishtar special assistant to the prime minister on social protection and poverty alleviation, Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, Special Assistant to Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs. Ms. Seemi Ezdi, Senator. Mr. Ejaz ul Haq, Senator. Mr. Chaudhary Nadeem Press PTI Traders Wings Islamabad. Mr. Sheikh Ansar Aziz, Mayor of Islamabad. H.E Ahmed Saleem Maldives ambassador to Pakistan. Mr. Muhamed Masud Khan, Honorary Consulate General. Mr. Rana Shehzad Director General of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Senior Vice President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Mirza Iftikhar Baig Senior Vice President, Feredation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and industry. Mr. Muhammad Ahmed. President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr Malik Sohail, Chief Coordination Officer FPCCI and Mr. Zubair Tufail

All the guests visited the stall held by women entrepreneurs. They valued and encouraged them to participate in such exhibitions and not to miss such opportunities because displaying their products at such platforms will lead them up to new exposure.

As Product Development Hub also displayed its stall. Hub took the opportunity of this platform and display the products they are dealing in. The services which are provided to the women entrepreneurs for redesigning and manufacturing of different products according to the international standards was also informed to women entrepreneurs by Mr. Asim Rasool and Ms. Gul Rukh.

Mr. Rana Shehzad Director General TDAP visited hub’s stall after an individual round to all the stalls of women entrepreneurs dealing in different fields and products. Discussing the details with Ms Naima Ansari, Product Development Manager Mr Rana Shehzad added to work on the products of women entrepreneurs from different cities of Pakistan. He asked to work on products other than textile and focusing on few entrepreneurs. So that we could work in detail of redesigning or innovating their products keeping in view the international standards and introducing their product into international market.


As number of women entrepreneurs are running home based businesses so it is very important for women chamber to provide them the marketing platform where these women can display their product and market them. Also these events serves as a learning opportunity for these women entrepreneurs as they participate and learn that what is the demand of their product in the market, what are other people looking for and under one roof they also get to meet these other people dealing in the similar sector business. The quality and the pricing of the product that their competitor is making can also be served as a great source of learning for these women entrepreneurs. 

Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized 5th Islamabad Expo 2k19 on 14th and 15th December 2019. After 4 consecutive successful events previously organized IWCCI planned 5th Islamabad Expo. The basic aim of this event was to provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to display the products they are skilled in. There were approximately 50 exhibitors who participated from different cities of Pakistan. Islamabad expo had variety of products i.e. Textile, Handicrafts, Jewelry, Marble and some offered the services, the entrepreneurs are dealing in. There were a huge gathering and footfall of the visitors, approximately 10,000 15,000 per day. Most of the people stepped in and appreciated the exhibitors. They also took keen interest in buying their products.

The event begin with the inauguration ceremony done by Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam CEO Mobilink Microfinance Bank. Accompanied by Founder President IWCCI Ms. Samina Fazil, President IWCCI Ms. Farida Rashid and other Executive Members. After the Ribbon cutting ceremony The chief guest Mr Ghazanfar took round of all the stalls displayed by Women Entrepreneurs. He really appreciated the efforts of women entrepreneurs who are so skilled in their field.

There were number of guests who grace the event with their presence.
Ms. Sania Nishtar special assistant to the prime minister on social protection and poverty alleviation, Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, Special Assistant to Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs. Ms. Seemi Ezdi, Senator. Mr. Ejaz ul Haq, Senator. Mr. Chaudhary Nadeem Press PTI Traders Wings Islamabad. Mr. Sheikh Ansar Aziz, Mayor of Islamabad. H.E Ahmed Saleem Maldives ambassador to Pakistan. Mr. Muhamed Masud Khan, Honorary Consulate General. Mr. Rana Shehzad Director General of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Senior Vice President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Mirza Iftikhar Baig Senior Vice President, Feredation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and industry. Mr. Muhammad Ahmed. President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr Malik Sohail, Chief Coordination Officer FPCCI and Mr. Zubair Tufail

All the guests visited the stall held by women entrepreneurs. They valued and encouraged them to participate in such exhibitions and not to miss such opportunities because displaying their products at such platforms will lead them up to new exposure.

As Product Development Hub also displayed its stall. Hub took the opportunity of this platform and display the products they are dealing in. The services which are provided to the women entrepreneurs for redesigning and manufacturing of different products according to the international standards was also informed to women entrepreneurs by Mr. Asim Rasool and Ms. Gul Rukh.

Mr. Rana Shehzad Director General TDAP visited hub’s stall after an individual round to all the stalls of women entrepreneurs dealing in different fields and products. Discussing the details with Ms Naima Ansari, Product Development Manager Mr Rana Shehzad added to work on the products of women entrepreneurs from different cities of Pakistan. He asked to work on products other than textile and focusing on few entrepreneurs. So that we could work in detail of redesigning or innovating their products keeping in view the international standards and introducing their product into international market.


As number of women entrepreneurs are running home based businesses so it is very important for women chamber to provide them the marketing platform where these women can display their product and market them. Also these events serves as a learning opportunity for these women entrepreneurs as they participate and learn that what is the demand of their product in the market, what are other people looking for and under one roof they also get to meet these other people dealing in the similar sector business. The quality and the pricing of the product that their competitor is making can also be served as a great source of learning for these women entrepreneurs. 

Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized 5th Islamabad Expo 2k19 on 14th and 15th December 2019. After 4 consecutive successful events previously organized IWCCI planned 5th Islamabad Expo. The basic aim of this event was to provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to display the products they are skilled in. There were approximately 50 exhibitors who participated from different cities of Pakistan. Islamabad expo had variety of products i.e. Textile, Handicrafts, Jewelry, Marble and some offered the services, the entrepreneurs are dealing in. There were a huge gathering and footfall of the visitors, approximately 10,000 15,000 per day. Most of the people stepped in and appreciated the exhibitors. They also took keen interest in buying their products.

The event begin with the inauguration ceremony done by Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam CEO Mobilink Microfinance Bank. Accompanied by Founder President IWCCI Ms. Samina Fazil, President IWCCI Ms. Farida Rashid and other Executive Members. After the Ribbon cutting ceremony The chief guest Mr Ghazanfar took round of all the stalls displayed by Women Entrepreneurs. He really appreciated the efforts of women entrepreneurs who are so skilled in their field.

There were number of guests who grace the event with their presence.
Ms. Sania Nishtar special assistant to the prime minister on social protection and poverty alleviation, Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, Special Assistant to Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs. Ms. Seemi Ezdi, Senator. Mr. Ejaz ul Haq, Senator. Mr. Chaudhary Nadeem Press PTI Traders Wings Islamabad. Mr. Sheikh Ansar Aziz, Mayor of Islamabad. H.E Ahmed Saleem Maldives ambassador to Pakistan. Mr. Muhamed Masud Khan, Honorary Consulate General. Mr. Rana Shehzad Director General of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Senior Vice President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Mirza Iftikhar Baig Senior Vice President, Feredation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and industry. Mr. Muhammad Ahmed. President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr Malik Sohail, Chief Coordination Officer FPCCI and Mr. Zubair Tufail

All the guests visited the stall held by women entrepreneurs. They valued and encouraged them to participate in such exhibitions and not to miss such opportunities because displaying their products at such platforms will lead them up to new exposure.

As Product Development Hub also displayed its stall. Hub took the opportunity of this platform and display the products they are dealing in. The services which are provided to the women entrepreneurs for redesigning and manufacturing of different products according to the international standards was also informed to women entrepreneurs by Mr. Asim Rasool and Ms. Gul Rukh.

Mr. Rana Shehzad Director General TDAP visited hub’s stall after an individual round to all the stalls of women entrepreneurs dealing in different fields and products. Discussing the details with Ms Naima Ansari, Product Development Manager Mr Rana Shehzad added to work on the products of women entrepreneurs from different cities of Pakistan. He asked to work on products other than textile and focusing on few entrepreneurs. So that we could work in detail of redesigning or innovating their products keeping in view the international standards and introducing their product into international market.


As number of women entrepreneurs are running home based businesses so it is very important for women chamber to provide them the marketing platform where these women can display their product and market them. Also these events serves as a learning opportunity for these women entrepreneurs as they participate and learn that what is the demand of their product in the market, what are other people looking for and under one roof they also get to meet these other people dealing in the similar sector business. The quality and the pricing of the product that their competitor is making can also be served as a great source of learning for these women entrepreneurs. 

Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized first Khadija’s Award on 6th march 2019 at Islamabad Club. The basic aim of organizing the event was to celebrate Women’s day and appreciate their achievements, reward and acknowledge the hard work of some of the most successful, entrepreneurial and inspiring business women. Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IWCCI) is one of the authorized and approved Women chamber of Commerce & industry from Ministry of Commerce Government of Pakistan. The Chamber was formed to create an exclusive platform for female entrepreneurs & professional women to strengthen their capacity and promote their product in local, national and international markets.

The khadija’s Award begin with a warm welcome note of Ms Naima Ansari. She greeted all the participants who were invited from twin cities and other major cities of Pakistan i.e Lahore and Karachi. There were approximately 150 people who participated in the event. Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplaces Kashmala Tariq was the chief guest on the occasion.

Rizwana Asif, president IWCCI said that we have invited women from all the sectors and industries to come together for an evening of celebration to recognize the best of home-grown talent and the valuable contribution that women make to their economic life.

As Ms. Naima Ansari hosted the event of Khadija’s Award. There were different categories considered for women entrepreneurs, Rising Star, Start up of the year, Inspiring Young Women Entrepreneur, Innovative Business Award, Tech Award, Innovative Textile & Apparel Award, Creating Change Award, Arts & Culture, Make up Artist of the year, Foodpreneur of the Year, Champion of Change, Business Women of the Year, Role Model of the Year, Business Achiever Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Unconventional Business Award and Media Award. Some of the women were awarded with Encouragement Awards to acknowledge their hard work and determination for their business.

Mr. Zafar bakhtawri, CEO D.watson was invited as a guest of honor, who spoke to the participants with warm greeting remarks. He also told the participants the way he strived and struggled for his business. His dedication and determination towards his work lead him as one of the famous business tycoon. He appreciated and esteemed the women entrepreneurs to work whole heartedly in their related fields.

Khadija’s Award ceremony was graced by the presence of Ms. Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of mission of European Union delegation to Pakistan. Shireen Arshad khan Vice President FPCCI, Ijaz Abbasi Vice President FPCCI, Sheikh Abdul Waheed Vice President FPCCI. Malik Sohail, Chief Chairman Coordination FPCCI, and Rafat Farid, Senior Vice President ICCI.

Ms. Kashmala tariq, federal ombudsperson for protection against harassment of women at the workplaces was the honorable guest for Khadija’s Award. She a brief description the project she is dealing in regarding women harassment at workplaces. And the basic rights the women have.

 

Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Product Development Hub in collaboration with Community Research & Development Organization Peshawar organized a one day training session on Accounting and Book Keeping, There were Approximately 30 participants belonging from different backgrounds of businesses and startups as well.
The program is being offered by SMEDA under National Business Development Program for SMEs (NBDP) to extend Non-financial Advisory Support to Small and Medium Businesses.

The Training begin with a brief introduction of the trainer, Mr.Kashif Maqbool Sehgal. He has been a part of other trainings as well. Related to Business Management in Accounts and Finances. The participants also gave a brief introduction of themselves and the businesses they are dealing in.

The basic aim of the training was to equip participants with emerging concepts, proven skills and knowledge on accounting and book keeping that will help to grow SME’s to establish and strength their organization systems to achieve future profitable growth.

All the participants showed keen interest all over the session. Different questions were asked related to session. Kashif also shared different motivational stories clearing the concept of Law of Attraction. i.e. the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s

The Session ended up with a Thankyou Note by Ms Farida Rashid. President Islamabad women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. To which Ms. Gul Rukh added a few lines of Product Development Hub Services and facilitation offered to women Entrepreneurs related to product identification, redesigning and value addition. She also asked the participants to qualify their products to introduce their products from local market to international market.


Yesterday, the Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized an information session in collaboration with Karandaaz for their Women Entrepreneurship Challenge 2018. The Challenge is open to all businesses with a National Tax Number where Pakistani women have at least 50% share and manage day to day operations and which have been operational for a minimum of three years. The application portal for the challenge (which can be found online on the website www.wec.karandaaz.com.pk) closes on 10th July 2018. To selected applicants, the program offers both customized business development services and investment of up to PKR 2 CRORE in equity.

The women of IWCCI had the opportunity to pose their queries to Karandaaz representative, Ms. Annum Hussain at the hour long session. We applaud Karandaaz for their efforts to empower women entrepreneurs. Lack of capital is one of biggest hurdles facing women led businesses and the provision of these financial resources makes this challenge an attractive opportunity. We strongly encourage all eligible businesses to apply!

Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Center (PASTIC) in collaboration with Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Product Development Hub organized a 3 day training session on SAARC We Portal, under the project titled “Networking and Capacity Building of Women Entrepreneurs” (NCBWE) from SAARC Countries. There were approximately 130 participants from Islamabad/ Rawalpindi. The training was held at Islamabad Marriot on 29th 30th and 31st of December 2019.

The basic aim of this training was to register the women entrepreneurs at the SAARC We Portal to promote-Women entrepreneurial networks for advancement of their businesses. Co-operation and partnerships for promotion of their products and services and to facilitate women entrepreneurial activities for betterment of their economies.

The training was headed by two main trainers. Mr. Zafar Ullah who gave a detailed talk on Information and Communication Technology. Whereas the other trainer Ms. Naima Ansari hosted over the registration of participants on Saarc We portal and a detailed presentation on Product Development Hub.

The session started with the warm welcome note and introduction of Dr. Saima Huma Tanveer, the Project Director of the Networking & capacity Building of Women Entrepreneurs (SME’s) from SAARC Countries. This project basically deals with the networking and connectivity of all the Women entrepreneurs running up their own businesses across Pakistan. It also provides a platform to which they can get themselves registered to the online portal called Women Entrepreneur Portal, this portal intends to register women entrepreneurs for the database and it will also serve as a linkage to connect with other women entrepreneurs to SAARC region.

Mr Zafar Ullah guided the women entrepreneurs about the importance of Information and Communication Technology that how one’s Businesses can really grow into local or international market by using the technology. Use of technology really helps to extend their abilities and to serve their customers.  Business owners or entrepreneurs have the vision to recognize consumer wants and to devise ways to meet them. Nowadays it’s challenging for a business to gain competitive advantage without using technology.

Ms. Naima Ansari continued her session on Registration of businesses on SAARC We portal. She guided all the things step by step letting women entrepreneurs know the details of portal. After demonstrating women entrepreneurs about uploading details on online portal Ms. Naima gave a brief introduction about the Project Product Development Hub headed by Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and industry and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Ms. Naima gave a brief introduction about the product development hub and facility it had formed regarding the creation, redesigning, manufacturing and innovating the products of the clients according to the international market standards. She also discussed different stages of Market Research and serving women in understanding different trends and designs running in foreign market.

All the women entrepreneurs participating in the session gave a short introduction of their businesses they are dealing in. They added such trainings need to be held every now and then. It leads them to be more confident towards their businesses. Such trainings help them grow their business as well as such gathering leads them to networking.


An awareness session for women entrepreneurs was held with the collaboration of the State Bank of Pakistan and Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 22nd June 2018 at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Capital House.

The session began as scheduled in late afternoon with approximately 50 officials and entrepreneurs in attendance. Both the President and the Chairman of FPCCI gave opening remarks. They lauded the efforts of the IWCCI in mobilizing female entrepreneurs and pledged the support of FPCCI for any future ventures. They also recognized the role that women can and are playing in the advancement of the Pakistani economy appreciated the efforts of such women. After a short welcoming address by IWCCI President Ms Reem Abassi, the session officially began.

Representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan conducted the session. The significance of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the current economy was elaborated upon and it was announced that the State Bank was targeting a substantial increase from the current 8% to 17% in the SME financing as part of its Policy 2020 plan. The issues regarding SME financing which range from a lack of awareness and unnecessary formalities in the loan process to SMEs being considered a risk area by banking officials were highlighted. This was followed by an introduction to the State Bank’s updated policy for SME banking which included incentives such as tax holidays, simplified and standardized loan forms and reductions on sales tax. The representative of the State Bank also announced the setting of gender based targets starting next year and policy geared towards the upscaling of micro finance banks and non-financial advising for SMEs. An overview of current government financing schemes offered to SMEs was given which also included information on the purpose, eligibility, tenure and rate of refinance of each scheme. The State Bank of Pakistan reiterated its commitment to providing entrepreneurs a platform to voice their concerns and ensuring better communication between banks, entrepreneurs and the government. The SME toolkit launched by Bank Alfalah and IFC (International Finance Corporation) was presented as an example of the facilities offered to entrepreneurs where case studies and market research is available through an online portal (www.pakistan.smetoolkit.org) as non-financial advising by the bank for SMEs. A representative from the bank itself also outlined the guidelines to be followed by the entrepreneurs in their day to day dealings specifically with regards to their banking needs.

The event was concluded with a Q&A session between the panel of entrepreneurs, State Bank representatives and bank officials where the concerns of the entrepreneurs were addressed. The entrepreneurs mentioned the struggles they have faced in the process of acquiring financing. Officials from the Bank of Khyber, UBL, Meezan, Alfalah, SME bank and Habib Bank Limited were present and reassured that these complaints would be relayed to their respective higher ups and that they would make greater efforts to include SME financing in their corporate agendas.

(SMEDA)

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) organized a one day training on “Business Communication Skills” in collaboration with IWCCI and Product Development Hub held at Federation house on 30th July 2019, Tuesday.  The basic aim of this workshop was to facilitate women entrepreneurs understand the concepts of communication skills and help them adopt these skills to make their businesses profitable. There were approximately 20-25 people who attended the workshop.

Ms. Samina Fazil, Founder President IWCCI gave a warm welcome note to the trainer and all the participants. All the participants gave a brief introduction of themselves and the sectors they are dealing in the businesses.  Ms. Hina Riaz, top industry trainer in multidisciplinary areas focusing more on improved relations at workplace, communication, dynamics, conflict management, leadership development, presentation dynamics, leading change management, problem solving, effective decision making and impression management.

This workshop was proposed for women entrepreneurs to educate them on important of Communication skills in business and to equip the participants with the common traits for behavioral change in business communication. Hina Riaz, the trainer told the participants about Effective Business Communication skills, these Skills add both the sides of a speaker and the listener and both of the person shares the responsibility of making the message clear to one another. Effective communication is far beyond simple hearing and speech.

She also added the skills of presentation, she said that one’s presentation could be divides into 3 main steps. i.e.  Introduction, body and conclusion. One’s presentation should be concise, clear and easy to understand. She also gave a brief overview of different types of communication. I.e. Verbal and Nonverbal communication. She told that Verbal communication is a way to communicate wherein the message is transmitted through the spoken words. Here the sender gives words to his feelings, thoughts, ideas and opinions and expresses them in the form of speeches, discussions, presentations, and conversations.
Whereas the nonverbal communication is the process of sending and receiving messages without using words, either spoken or written.

To create the training more interactive Ms. Hina used to conduct an activity after every main topic. In which the participants need to perform the particular task told by the trainer.

Ms. Rizwana Asif, President IWCCI. Shared her views about the interactive session, she said that one should improve its listening skills because “Being a good listener is one of the best way to be a good communicator”

The workshop came to an end by question answer session. Ms. Samina Fazil and Ms. Rizwana Asif distributed the certificates to the participants of the workshop as well.


Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized an event on 31st march 2019. The basic aim of the event was to provide an opportunity to female entrepreneurs, so they may display the products they are skillful in. Islamabad women chamber of commerce and industry always provide a platform to women who are interested in making something different out of their daily routines for their own stability and want to contribute in economic development of the country as well.

As number of women entrepreneurs are running home based businesses so it is very important for women chamber to provide them the marketing platform where these women can display their product and market them. Also these events serves as a learning opportunity for these women entrepreneurs as they participate and learn that what is the demand of their product in the market, what are other people looking for and under one roof they also get to meet these other people dealing in the similar sector business. The quality and the pricing of the product that their competitor is making can also be served as a great source of learning for these women entrepreneurs. 

 

Product Development hub took the opportunity of this platform and got a stall so they could display the products they are dealing in and the services which are provided by the hub to the women entrepreneurs for redesigning and manufacturing of different products according to the international standards.
Ms. Tahira Afridi, technical advisor of Hashoo Foundation visited Product Development Hub’s stall and discussed about the products and services hub is dealing in. She also asked, if the organizations or individuals are approaching the hub for the products. And what are the specific products the hub is dealing in for the people who showed their keen interest in product manufacturing and its export.

There were approximately a footfall of 3,000 people who visited from twin cities. It was a family event with joy able free rides for kids as well. Different types of Stalls were displayed by the women entrepreneurs. Some dealing in garments. Designer wear, jewelry, beauty salon, cosmetics, and food items. People enjoyed having delicious food items from the stalls hosted by female entrepreneurs.

Mr.Usman Dar Chairman of Prime Minister’s Youth Programme was the honorable Chief guest of Wib festival, Mam Samina Fazil the founder president of Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry presented him with bouquet and welcomed him with warm greetings.  He appreciated the efforts that Mam Samina is doing for the upbringing of women entrepreneurs.

 

Events like these also serve as an important platform to build the linkages among the skilled artisans and business women. Also as events like these are open to public so a lot of other women showed interest in getting registered at IWCCI and at product development hub. Events like these also serves as a purpose of motivation to many other women who want to start a business but are afraid to.

Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information (PASTIC) is a subsidiary organization of Pakistan Science foundation, under the umbrella of ministry of science and technology. This organization is the premier platform for dissemination of science and technological information to the scientists, researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, industry across Pakistan. Islamabad women chamber of commerce & industry conducted an orientation session in collaboration with Pastic on SAARC WE PORTAL on 12th February 2019.

The session started with the warm welcome note and introduction of Dr. Saima Huma Tanveer, the Project Director of the Networking & capacity Building of Women Entrepreneurs (SME’s) from SAARC Countries. This project basically deals with the networking and connectivity of all the Women entrepreneurs running up their own businesses across Pakistan. It also provides a platform to which they can get themselves registered to the online portal called Women Entrepreneur Portal, this portal intends to register women entrepreneurs for the database and it will also serve as a linkage to connect with other women entrepreneurs to SAARC region.

Mr. Muhammad Usman, the Web Portal Development Lead of the project talked about the applications, that are available online to grow, promote and accelerate business. He explained in detail about the existing platform available to measure footfall of the visitors to your web portal. He also explained the important of portal and gave brief presentation about the registration procedure. There were approximately 50 women entrepreneur who attended the session and ask various questions, not only about the portal but also their concerns regarding online marketing.

After the presentation about the WE portal Ms. Naima Ansari gave a detailed presentation approximately about 25 minutes to the women entrepreneurs about the product development hub and facility it had formed regarding the creation, redesigning, manufacturing and innovating the products of the clients according to the international market standards.

Later on IWCCI former President Ms. Reem Abbasi told about the two activities women chamber is looking forward to organize. The 1st one is the Khadija Awards in which women entrepreneurs are going to celebrate women in business by offering/nominating the lead women in businesses from all over Pakistan. She mentioned about the 14 categories they have formed for nomination of award ceremony.
And the Wibfest is going to serve as a market place for women entrepreneurs which is going to take place on 17th march at lok virsa, Islamabad.

The session came to an end with the question & answer session between the panelists and participants.

A two day training on business management and business marketing was organized by USAID SMEA in collaboration with Product Development Hub. There were 30 Women Entrepreneurs who participated in the training, visited from twin cities. The training was held on 2nd n 3rd of October 2019 at Marriot Hotel Islamabad. The Second slot was held on 8th and 9th of October 2019. The training on business growth and digital marketing was headed by Ms. Meenah Tariq, Consultant at USAID SMEA, Head of Strategy and Accelerator at invest and innovation. Also a business partner in Venture Capital Platform named “Karava”. Supporting startups in business growth.

The training started with brief introduction of the all the participants. They told about how they started, their vehicle for marketing and the challenges faced by them. All the participants keenly listened to the other person’s story of their business. To which Ms. Meenah added that she is amazed of the businesses women entrepreneurs are dealing in.
The next activity name ‘who are you?” took place, in which the participants were paired with each other. They took 5 minutes each and had to describe their partner without telling their occupation or the business they were dealing in.

After the brief introduction and the activity Ms. Meenah started the presentation by introducing the “Customer Segment” She said that the products the women entrepreneurs are dealing in, has no more exclusivity or innovativeness. We all are working on the same products line with different sector but knowing more and more about the customer segment and the target market one can achieve their sales and business growth.

She also discussed about Competitive Pricing. She added one should also be much clear of the competitor in the same market. For Example. One of the participant Ms. Hafsa moeen has been dealing in Natural Spices. She takes “Shan Spices” as her competitor. But being realistic. Shan is not the competitor for Natural Spices as they are not producing any natural spices. To which she also added that most of the time we devalue our products in the market and we need to change our approach that if our product has a good quality line we should be considering that.

Later Ms Tabeer Athar, Specialist Competitiveness Enhancement USAID SMEA gave a brief introduction of herself. She basically share the whole information related to the application for Grant funds offered by USAID SMEA, in which grants are available to Women Led Businesses, ICT, Hospitality, logistics, Textiles, Agri-businesses and processing and Light Engineering.

Ms. Meenah Tariq later gave a detailed presentation on Marketing. She started the topic by asking the participants about the displays they have for their products. She also linked it all to the social media. As in today’s world social media is the key point for the one business marketing and growth. She told the importance of Facebook identity and Instagram. She aslo gave a small demo on how to use a simple designing website named ‘canva’ for designing their content for the social media without taking help from any designer. She also discussed a lot more about using instagram hashtags and stories in attracting more and more followers for business growth.

Women Entrepreneurs from all over Pakistan visited Australia from 13th – 23rd November 2015 to explore business opportunities in various sectors like garments, education, textile, gems and jewelry, knowledge transfer, cosmetics, food, and healthcare etc..

A copy of the plan was prepared by Mr. Abdul Aziz, Consul General & Trade Commissioner all delegates’ members followed the planned program. Moreover High Commissioner Ms. Nyla Chohan invited the all delegates to visit Canberra. First three days we attended sourcing fair where we got one display booth to display our products, it was a unique experience. B2B Meetings with the buyer were held successfully and our members got export orders. Meeting was held with Local Women Entrepreneurs with our delegates and B2B contacts were established for further chances of develop the business relation in future. A visit at Melbourne was conducted which was very informative. We were really impressed to see them manufacturing unity of textile and fashion industry which includes the leather products also. It was amazing experience for all delegates. The University authorities also showed keen interest to send their student to visit Pakistan and to see our industry and prevailing fashion trends. We also had one day product display at Islamic Centre Melbourne and many people visited. A Reception to delegates was hosted by Pakistani business community “Sohni Dharti” based at Melbourne. Although it was first contact but they offer all possible support to Women Entrepreneurs in future relation.

Overall their visit was very successful in all respect.

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