Women entrepreneurs have called for a separate policy and action plan to support their businesses and economic participation at a consultative session organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) on Tuesday.
The session, co-hosted by the FCDO-funded organization Remit, aimed to gather inputs and recommendations from various stakeholders for the development of a Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy (WEP) and Action Plan.
Dr. Shehla Javaid Akram, founder and president of the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was the keynote speaker of the session, which also featured Nadia Jehangir Seth, GM Policy and Planning of SMEDA, and Usman Khan, Investment and Climate Financing Expert of Remit
The speakers highlighted the need for a level playing field for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan, who face multiple challenges such as limited access to finance, markets, business development services, and regulatory compliance.
The session was attended by women entrepreneurs from various sectors, development partners, and government representatives, who engaged in lively discussions and brainstorming on the key themes of the WEP and Action Plan.
The participants came up with practical suggestions and guidelines for creating comprehensive and supportive policy frameworks for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan, such as enhancing financial inclusion, promoting digitalization, facilitating market linkages, simplifying taxation and licensing procedures, and providing mentoring and networking opportunities.
The session also demonstrated a strong commitment from all stakeholders towards creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan, with Remit, UKAid, ADB, and UN Women as key partners in this initiative.