Pakistan Software Houses Association and Google Business Group collaborate to launch Women on the Web in Pakistan

Karachi, March 18, 2014 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) and Google Business Group (GBG) joined hands to launch Women on the Web (WoW) powered by Google for Entrepreneurs on March 11, 2014 in Islamabad.

Women on the Web (WoW) is a Google program for women entrepreneurs to connect, grow their online presence, and utilize Google products to launch and scale their businesses. As part of the program, entrepreneurs learn to build their online presence, connect with their customers, track and optimize their efforts, and connect with other entrepreneurs in their communities.

Pakistan is amongst the pioneers in adopting the WoW Program along with Malaysia. WoW will also be expanded to countries such as India, Russia Latin America, South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Pakistan is one of the key regions to be explored so that the women entrepreneurs start practicing effective yet technology-driven entrepreneurship.

The event was quite a successful affair with a strong participation by women entrepreneurs and female students. The distinguished guests included the likes of Ms. Ayesha Raza (MNA), Mr. Amir Malik (Member IT and MD PSEB) and Mr. Ahmed Sukhera (Chairman SMEDA) to name a few.

Maryam Arshad, representing GBG Pakistan shared the fundamentals of the program and its benefits. She mentioned that the focus of the WoW workshops will be on creating a substantial web presence, using social media, advertising and working online.

Ms. Ayesha Raza, Member National Assembly shared her views saying, “Women constitute approximately 51% of the total population of the country. The government wants to empower women in IT and skill based jobs.”

Mr. Amir Malik spoke about the commitment of the current government towards women economic empowerment and mentioned some of the programs that his own Ministry were working on to make this happen.

Mr. Sukhera, Chairman SMEDA said, “How do you become accessible to 180 million people? The only way is when you expand your operations in IT. Government is taking initiatives to create gender balance, making teams more IT proficient and effective.”

A prominent highlight of the WoW launch was the MOU signing between P@SHA and SMEDA. President P@SHA, Jehan Ara and Mr. Sukhera, Chairman SMEDA signed the MOU respectively.

Jehan Ara, President P@SHA shared her views on the WoW Program. Speaking at the launch she said, “P@SHA is looking forward to working with GBG Pakistan and with our National Partners SMEDA and CIPE as well as Regional Partners like ICCI, RCCI, PWCCI, Elance and Freelancer, on making the WoW Program truly effective.”

As she talked about technology enabled businesses and how Pakistani women are using technology to expand their businesses, she mentioned some examples of women who had transformed their businesses by taking them online. “Women need to contribute actively to the economic growth of this country while fulfilling their family and community responsibilities. This is possible by harnessing the power of the Internet.”

In Q4 2013, a number of meetings were held with women entrepreneurs in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The meet-ups were reasonably candid where the entrepreneurs from various fields and demographics shared ideas and experiences of their start-ups, the initial challenges they faced and their future business plans. This helped the Regional WoW team comprising, amongst others, Erica Hanson, Yoonmin Cho and Sulwyn Lim in working with GBG Pakistan and P@SHA on customizing the training program for Pakistan.

Now that the program has been officially launched in Pakistan, the goal is to help the women-owned businesses to grow their online presence over a period of 9 – 12 months.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA)
Room 310, 3rd Floor, Business Centre
Block 2, PECHS, Main Shahrah-e-Faisal
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35418121

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