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Bringing Facebook’s She Means Business to Pakistan

by Nushmiya Sukhera

Facebook’s female empowerment program She Means Business is stepping into Pakistan with a collaboration with Herself, a similar initiative of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

Herself was launched by PITB in June 2016, after realizing the low representation of women in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem. The initiative aims to provide business training and support to expand the participation of women in the country’s workforce. She Means Business by Facebook is a global initiative that was launched in March, 2016 to empower and inspire women to become financially independent. It has been established in 14 countries; trained 7000+ women, forged 14 training partnerships and reached 32.5 million through its online efforts.

The aim of the partnership is to arm women with the support and resources needed for them to start their own business and participate more fully in the economy

Ritesh Mehta, Head of Economic Growth Initiatives, India and South Asia, at Facebook says, “Through She Means Business and the support of our partners, like PITB’s Herself, we want to shine a light on the women who start or run small businesses in Pakistan and empower them to do more – so that their families, their communities and ultimately, the Pakistan’s economy will benefit.”

Read more: Putting the Women Upfront: PlanX Launches Power Woman Program

Women entrepreneurs will be given the knowledge, skills and technology required to successfully grow their presence on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, through a series of workshops and online resources. Herself will also share the success stories of women entrepreneurs from other platforms including Facebook’s She Means Business.

“In Pakistan, women-owned enterprises represent an insubstantial portion of existing SME’s. At PITB’s Plan9, Pakistan’s largest tech incubator, only 14% of start-up companies are co-founded by women. By collaborating with Facebook, we hope to be successful in further engaging women in the workforce and achieving more equal participation in the economy,” says Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman of PITB.

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