ICCI-US Embassy collaborates for Symposium on business opportunities for Women

  • June 23, 2013
Executive Director of US-Pakistan Women’s Council Ms. Sarah Peck shall give briefing about the business opportunities for women, particularly in fashion designing at Symposium in Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said by Meyer Matan, Economic Officer, US Embassy while meeting with Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI.
The US Embassy and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry shall collaborate to hold the symposium inviting key the organizations including SEMDA, U.S. Government, UN, Women Chambers and World Bank to discuss the ways todevelop a strategy which support women entrepreneurs engaged in the micro businesses in fashion sector. 
Matansaid that the aim of the seminar is to provide more opportunities to business women andto extend help in exploring the possibilities of realistic business options and possible avenues of support for women.
The existing programs did not adequately address the needs of these women entrepreneurs, and many are aimed at start-ups that generally attract male aspiring entrepreneurs, or train women to make craft and stitching items, said Matan.
He emphasized that suchinitiatives will motivate the emerging women entrepreneur’sto investigate their strengths and weaknesses and could help them in aligningand developing effectivebusiness models according to market needs by doing market research for new ventures, developing networks worldwide, and by finding ways to get business loans to kick-start their businesses.
Matan mentioned thateven women have access to credits and markets,many of businesses lack the training, talent, and expertise needed to design competitive products for the fashion industry, domestic or International market because of which they lack the capacity to manufacture goods at required quality level and quantity to supply established companies or markets.
Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said women’s entrepreneurship has been recognized as an important untapped source of economic growth as women of our country has great potential but they need moreopportunities to come forward and play their role in economic development of country.
President said that women constitute about 52 percent of the total population in the country they still represent a minority of all entrepreneurs.The government should focus on women development and economic empowerment, bur despite of government efforts to reduce gender inequalities, nothing has been done with regards to developwomen economic action plan to uplift women socio-economic status, he emphasized.
President was of the view that entrepreneurship is now considered as an important tool of empowerment and emancipation, so more women should enter in entrepreneurial world. Moreover economy thrives when female entrepreneurs get the same opportunities as men but unfortunately Pakistani women entrepreneurs havebeen facing problems because of lack of finance, restriction on mobility, limited decision making, lack of role models and guiders, men’s dominancy on markets, family pressure and discrimination, he added.