By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, Mar 12 ( Alliance News): A two-day long ‘Wecamp’ Festival 2022 to promote women empowerment culture in the country along with home-based women entrepreneurs kicks off here on Saturday at Fatima Jinnah F-9 Park (F-10 Bolan Gate).
The event was planned and organized by the Atomcamp in collaboration with the Bank of Punjab, Midcity Housing, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce of Industry, and SEED Pakistan.
The festival aimed at to promotes SMEs, besides providing an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to come out and feature different business pavilions, including home décor, home textile, apparel, arts, crafts & jewellery, skincare & haircare products, cosmetic products, organic oils & food products, and live food & bakery.
While talking to Alliance News Correspondent, CEO and co-founder atomcamp, Shua Khalid said that the main focus of the atomcamp and its partners to recognize, celebrate, encourage, and increase the visibility of home-based women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.
She said that currently, the festival is providing a platform for over 200 women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services and expand their consumer base.
She termed the festival a blessed moment for women, through this, Shua Khalid said women entrepreneurs have gotten an opportunity to grow their business network by interacting with other women entrepreneurs.
Replying to a question posed by the Alliance News Correspondent, CEO atomcamp, Shua Khalid said that another goal of this festival is to encourage and inspire women who have not yet started their businesses to enter the field of entrepreneurship.
Home-based women entrepreneurs contribute immensely to the sustainability of the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Pakistan by increasing women’s economic participation in the labor force, she remarked.
To another question regarding how such events can play a role to reduce gender-gap, she said that women entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in reducing gender inequality and unemployment and ensuring the financial empowerment of women.
CEO and cofounder of atomcamp, Shua Khalid urged people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi to visit wecamp Festival 2022 on Sunday, March 13 in F-9 Park to celebrate women in business and support local businesses.
Earlier, the event was inaugurated by women parliamentarians, led by MNA Nafeesa Khattak (PTI) and MNA Shandana Gulzar Khan (PTI), along with other women parliamentarians across different parties.
Their presence supported atomcamp’s efforts to uplift Pakistan’s workforce through skill development, and in particular supporting and promoting home-based women entrepreneurship.
Co-founder atomcamp, Naveed Iftkhar, sharing his thoughts with Alliance News about the event and role of women in national development, he said active participation of the women in businesses particularly in SMEs and entrepreneurship culture is looks more imperative to boost the national economy, besides socio- economic uplift.
Same has the attention of atomcamp, he said that it envisions to develop an intellectually and professionally strong workforce in Pakistan through such programs.
Cross party political support for the event showed how political leadership is united to support women entrepreneurship, which is ultimately a good omen for women and to achieved future goals.
Naveed Iftkhar said that the initiative aimed at to provide basic exposure to women at rights platforms where they come out and exhibits’ their skills, good, besides an effort to equip them with modern technology.
Samina Fazil, Founder President, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) said the IWCCI has been contributing towards expanding economic and business opportunities for women across Pakistan.
She said that this is a wonderful platform to established their business network with other entrepreneurs coming from various areas of the country and a way forward to enhance their business network successfully.
Establishment of the sovereign women ministry would help to address the issues related to business women and encouraging entrepreneurs’ culture in the country is more imperative for sustainable growth.
These remarks were expressed by the President Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) Naima Ansari in an exclusive interview with Alliance News correspondent.
It is a pity, she said in Pakistan only one percent of entrepreneurs are women and that little participation of women were facing a myriad of challenges, ranging from legal barriers that prevent them from establishing a business, to lack of access to loans and financial know-how.
She said that this is a key ecosystem gap and is critical to increasing early-stage investment in women’s businesses in Pakistan.
Replying to a question, Naima Ansari said that recently, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) has launched a zoom training session with an aim to educate the business women associated with SMEs and about their legal protection of doing SMEs business.
Senior Vice President, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), Saddaf Asim Abbasi while talking to Alliance News said that festival aimed to promote women business in the country and encourage them came here, especially those from far flung areas to create and setup their business network.
Replying to a question she said, In many developing countries, the focus is on to build capacity of women entrepreneurs, ecosystem intermediaries, as well as investors in order to increase the investment readiness of women-owned businesses.
Executive Member of IWCCI, Eram. A. Khan while talking to Alliance News said that this event means a lot especially for women entrepreneurs and women empowerment and economic growth of the country.
She said that establishing self business means no dependency which ultimately reduce the job load of the government and every single individual play his or her role to build up the national economic.
Zafar Masud, the CEO of the Bank of Punjab, reiterated the resolve of the bank of promote financial inclusion and entrepreneurship among women. The Bank of Punjab will continue to promote these festivals to support women entrepreneurs.
Saif Khalid, Director MIDCITY Housing Scheme Lahore said that they strive to promote conditions for vibrant urban life through encouraging more participation of women in economic and social activities, among others.
MiDCity Housing Scheme being socially responsible is always on the forefront in endorsing women empowerment and environment sensible initiatives.
Omar Mukhtar Khan, Team Leader of SEED Pakistan, a project of Adam Smith International in Khyber Pakhtunkwa said, SEED Pakistan is making various efforts to ensure inclusive economic and social opportunities for women and other marginalized groups.
SEED has also collaborated with atomcamp to facilitate participation of 20 women
entrepreneurs in KP and will provide training for women entrepreneurs in six major cities across KP.
The media teams was coordinated by the Media Spokesperson of IWCCI and guided about the event.
Excellent security arrangements has been made by the Islamabd Police and sufficient numbers of police officials both male and females can been seen at entry and exit points.