Gender equality: US envoy launches women’s entrepreneurial centre

Programme aims to maximise public-private partnerships.

APP February 13, 2015
US Ambassador Richard Olson inaugurating the Women’s Entrepreneurial Center of Resources, Education, Access and Training for Economic Empowerment in Islamabad. PHOTO: US EMBASSY PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD: Reinforcing the US commitment to advancing gender equality through entrepreneurship in Pakistan, US Ambassador Richard Olson inaugurated the Women’s Entrepreneurial Center of Resources, Education, Access and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE) here on Friday.

The centre, the first of its kind in the world, will advance gender equality in entrepreneurship and provide training support and mentorship for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Olson said, “This centre has enormous potential. It will help women overcome some of the barriers they encounter and develop initiatives to increase opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow their own businesses.”

It will maximise public-private partnerships to increase women’s participation in the economy and implement community-based programmes to spur economic growth and innovation.

“The centre will offer mentorship, classes, resource material and access to a network of other women entrepreneurs across the country and around the world,” he added.

WECREATE Marketing and Communications Manager Mavra Bari commented, “The opening of the centre is an opportunity to support not only new women entrepreneurs but also diverse ideas and perspectives.”

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) founding vice president, Mansoor Malik, commented, “This centre will be the flagship project globally. It will map a new frontier for women across the world.”

The centre is supported by the US-Pakistan Women’s Council and sponsored by the US Department of State, in partnership with StartUp Cup, TiE Islamabad, Change Mechanics and the Hashoo Foundation. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2015.

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