Google Business Group (GBG) – Pakistan Chapter and Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@S-HA) have joined hands to lead the Women on the Web (WoW) initiative in Pakistan with the support of Google. The initiative will help Pakistani women utilize the power of the Internet more effectively to grow their businesses. WoW enables more women entrepreneurs to access the web to launch and reach new markets, and thereby achieve greater scale. It provides a structured and sustainable platform for businesses to grow by building a strong network of support among fellow entrepreneurs. Through workshops, training and mentoring, this initiative will help women expand their web presence, connect with customers, and work more efficiently online.
Pakistan joins several countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East that have active GBG chapters supporting the WoW initiative. In Pakistan, this special initiative for women is also being supported by local government bodies, trade associations and business partners including the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Centre of International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), Islamabad Chambers of Commerce (ICCI), Islamabad Women Chambers of Commerce & Industry (IWCCI) and Peshawar Women Chambers of Commerce & Industry (PWCCI), as well as online freelancing websites Elance and Freelancer.pk.
Speaking about the initiative, Jehan Ara, President, P@SHA said,
“The number of Pakistani women with access to the Internet is on the rise in Pakistan. This opens up avenues of new opportunities for these women who can easily start off their own business online with some basic Internet skills. If all Pakistani women with limited resources can utilize Internet access to start their business from home, the economic impact of this initiative will be far reaching for Pakistan. More importantly, it would allow more Pakistani women to get empowered and become more self-sufficient. With this thought in mind, GBG and P@SHA initiated the WoW project in Pakistan.”
Commenting on the WoW initiative, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, CEO of SMEDA, Government of Pakistan said,
“SMEDA’s hitherto experience of women entrepreneurship includes establishment of Women Business Development Centers in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Swat. To date, 20,000 women have been successfully provided trainings, counseling, exhibition and incubation facility and other business development services for their business promotion and establishment. It is also my pleasure to share that in the upcoming WEXNET 2014, SMEDA is sponsoring participation of 36 women entrepreneurs across Pakistan. Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan scheme provides an opportunity to women to access finance – a key impediment to business start-up and expansion.
In fact, a quota of 50% has been stipulated in the scheme to empower women and encourage entrepreneurship. I am pleased that SMEDA is a partner of Women on Web (WoW) in Pakistan, an initiative of GBG & P@SHA. This is indeed a great opportunity for existing and potential women entrepreneurs to compete in the global market on a level playing field through use of ICT and digital communication channels. Digital marketing is critical in the growth of a business, where competition is just a click away. Use of ICT is the way forward. We hope together with GBG Pakistan and P@SHA support, Pakistani women will be able to create an online presence and create more value for their business.”
Shedding light on the WoW initiative, Amer Sarfraz, lead for GBG Pakistan commented,
“Like our counterparts in the rest of the world, GBG Pakistan chapter is a group of progressive business professionals who strongly believe in the power of web, and are enthusiastic about Google’s role in making the web easier to use. In appreciation of the growing number of Pakistani entrepreneurs, we decided to initiate WoW to give more power in the hands of talented Pakistani women. We hope to reach thousands of Pakistani women via a minimum of 12 WoW events throughout this year so they can expand their business further and achieve greater economic benefits.”
When all is said and done, the main objective of Women on the Web (WoW) initiative is to help more and more Pakistani women benefit from the the power of the internet. Our team at TAP would like to congratulate GBP and P@sha for taking such keen interest in the aforementioned subject. Keep it up you guys !!