Globally, the growth of women entrepreneurship has been a widespread trend. In very few parts of the world, women are as likely to start a business as men – a clear reflection of the gender gap closing. Pakistan has the 6th largest population in the world; women comprise 50% of this population, which makes for a whopping 73 million. Combine enterprising females with what’s potentially a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and women founders can become a force to be reckoned with, given the right resources and guidance.
WECREATE Pakistan’s flagship program, Startup Academy aims to serve this purpose by offering a program that has been especially designed to accelerate the startup process. During this 10-week program, women-led startups undergo experiential business-building sessions. With a panel of over 30 mentors, Startup Academy offers hands-on one-to-one mentoring and coaching sessions to enable startups towards revenue generation. The essential business aspects that are touched upon during Startup Academy include Branding, Business Model, Team Building, Customer Development, Game Plan, Bootstrapping, Branding, Marketing PR and Social Media, Art of the Pitch, Financial Modelling and Intellectual Property Laws.
For startups, one of the most important factors is to register as a company. With Startup Academy, startups get donated legal services for forming a company. As they say, ‘Your network is your net worth’; if you enroll to be part of Startup Academy, rest assured, you will be introduced to a large network of entrepreneurs, funding sources and specialists in the startup process.
Startup Academy’s applications are open for startups operating in a wide range of areas, from agriculture, textiles, arts, restaurants, home businesses, retail stores, technology, green tech, web and mobile and licensing to professional services and franchising. Since 2015, 30 female-led startups have graduated from Startup Academy and are now running successful businesses. Sumera Abbasi, Manager WECREATE Pakistan reveals, “In a country such as ours, women barely take part in business and when they do, they hardly ever reach their full potential. Pakistan needs more women entrepreneurs who need the support system and the tools to make their businesses a success.”
Among the numerous incubators and accelerators, a distinguishing factor is that Startup Academy focuses on women-led startups, especially those operating in Islamabad, offering them the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to shine and flourish. “I run She’Kab, which is a subscription based car-pooling service for working women. During my time with Startup Academy at WECREATE, what I liked best was the presence of a dedicated space for women, networking, and mentoring. WECREATE helped us grow by providing the guidance and support we needed to initiate the service. While we started with a fleet of 5 cabs, we’ve till date served 600 monthly riders with a small fleet of 50 cabs driven by men and some cars are driven by women”, states Hira Batool Rizvi, the Founder of SheKab.
WECREATE Pakistan operates with the objective of supporting women entrepreneurs’ and small businesses’ growth with the belief that it is pivotal to the country’s economic growth. For this WECREATE employs non-traditional innovative methods to promote entrepreneurial growth. If you’re a female entrepreneur with an incredible idea and want to build up your business and take it to the next level, this program is definitely for you. Applications are open till 20th July, 2017. Apply now!