A Pakistani woman, Mariam Nusrat, has made it to the “Forbes Next 1000 List,” which celebrates the start-ups and business with fewer than $10 million in revenue and unlimited potential to inspire.
“An entrepreneur’s journey is not linear — it is filled with a series of twists and turns; defeat is a natural part of the process, but what differentiates entrepreneurs on the Forbes Next 1000 List is their resilience in the face of adversity,” the leading US magazine said in a statement on Friday.
Mariam, the founder of GRID, holds a Master’s degree in economics from both LUMS and George Washington University in the US and is currently residing in Virginia, USA.
Mariam induction in the Forbes Next 1000 List, puts her with entrepreneurs who are redefining what it means to build and run a business amid the new normal.
This first-of-its-kind initiative, by Forbes, celebrates bold and inspiring entrepreneurs who are redefining what it means to run a business today. Mariam’s achievements were recognised by Forbes’ editors plus a panel of top business minds and entrepreneurial superstars.
Over time Mariam has been celebrated across various platforms for her prestigious entrepreneurial career which began in 2015 when she formed the not-for-profit arm for GRID – Gaming Revolution for Inspiring Development.
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For the past 6 years, Mariam has been leading a team of Pakistan-based game developers and designers to create low-cost mobile games that inspire positive behaviour change. The team created eight portfolio games, in four languages on topics including reproductive health, climate change, health pandemics, animal welfare, STEM learning and structural racism.
For this work, Mariam has received several awards including the Clinton Global Initiative University Alum Award (presented on-stage by President Bill Clinton), DC Inno 50 on Fire Award, Andrew Rice Award, the GWU Best Social Venture Prize and UN PeaceApp prize.
Since its launch GRID has received extensive media attention with TV interviews on ABC News and WUSA9, and articles in Huffington Post, Global Voices, Washington Business Journal, Today, Yahoo News and other mainstream international news channels.
Mariam has also presented GRID at several high-level forums including, two sessions moderated by former US president Clinton at the CGIU Meetings and two Tedx events.
The team’s current focus is on democratising content creation through video games on their platform Breshna. With Breshna, people are empowered to communicate in an interactive fashion. Whether it’s a teacher making a history quiz, a not-for-profit leader making a brochure on animal compassion or a founder making a pitch deck, they can all leverage Breshna to create fun and interactive video games to engage their audience. “The team has already raised $75,000 in a pre-seed round from 11 Tribes VC and is launching with a Game Jam on July 16th.”
With their pre-launch traction and positioning as industry disruptors in the purposeful games industry, the team projects scaling to 2 million users and 200,000 paying customers, and an ARR of $105 million by 2024.
When not unleashing the power of video games for social change, Mariam works as an Education Specialist at the World Bank.