When it comes to the economic growth and success of a county, the role of women entrepreneurs is particularly vital. It is essential for them to channel their talent towards the betterment of Pakistan. That said, they face several hurdles along the way, including gender-based, cultural and social discrimination.
Taking these obstacles into account, the U.S. Department of State has introduced the first of many Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE) in Islamabad.
The center is further funded via a monetary aid package of $151,000 from StartUp Cup, an organization that prioritizes the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems across the globe. Other partners include Tie Islamabad, Change Mechanics, and the Hashoo Foundation.
What is WECREATE?
WECREATE is a physical entrepreneurial community center that can be replicated within any community. Every WECREATE center is adapted to a country’s specific economic needs, and is set up in a secure and central location for women to gain access to key tools and resources that economically empower them.
In Pakistan, the project is being initiated in collaboration with the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council under a public-private partnership, agreed upon by the U.S. Department of State in 2012.
The WECREATE Islamabad Center will develop the capability of women business owners and extend support to businesses helmed by women as they switch over from working individuals to legally registered companies. They will also mould its portfolio for tools, resources, and programs to tackle the distinct concerns of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.
The center will carry out six entrepreneurial programs in order to give boost to women owned startups and strengthen existing businesses. These programs include:
- Training and mentorship sessions
- Startup Academy
- Business Solutions Series
- Build-A-Business Workshops
- Specialized Training
- Entrepreneurial challenges
- WECREATE Challenge