Islamabad - Budding women entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and fields got a chance yesterday to present their goods and services at an open house free of charge.

WECREATE | Pakistan – Women’s Entrepreneurship Centre, arranged an open house for women entrepreneurs in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to foster community and give a platform for promotion. The all-day event featured 35 select exhibition stalls from a spectrum of categories such as nutrition food, arts and craft, clothing, baked goods, décor, hand-made jewelry, up-cycled wares and handicrafts.

The centre located in F-11 Markaz was bustling with walk-ins from various backgrounds and age groups. From grandmothers to toddlers, attendees praised the exhibition and WECREATE for giving women entrepreneurs a chance to shine. Khadija Qureshi, an architect by profession attended the event and noted her exuberance saying: “It is really uplifting to see so many women stepping out of social norms and breaking stereotypes by making a career for themselves by taking advantage of their talent.” She added that such initiatives to provide opportunities to women entrepreneurs need to be increased.

Manager Outreach and Communications at WECREATE Mavra Bari noted the management was positively overwhelmed with the response saying: “I was so pleased with the interest we got for the exhibition displays, really gives one an idea of just how many amazing home-based business women there are out there but they don’t get enough opportunities to share and market their initiatives. This is why we thought it is imperative to hold such an event and keep at it.”

One of the exhibitors, Nazish Hameed noted that usually exhibitions come with a price for registration and space. “This opportunity was really different because we didn’t have to worry about paying for the stall. We got to keep all the revenue we made without any fee which as refreshing. This really shows WECREATE’s commitment to help women entrepreneurs without any agenda,” said Nazish.

The open house was successful in promoting the sales of entrepreneurs as in total the stalls generated revenue of almost Rs100,000. The event also proved valuable to entrepreneurs by helping them network and establish connections that will help them grow and scale. Nabeela Jabbar who is an artist and has her own Chitral Dry Fruit startup shared that she met an investor during the event who has pledged to help her streamline and scale up her business in the region.

The WECREATE | PAKISTAN Centre, the first incubator in Pakistan designed specifically for female entrepreneurs, is playing an important role in advancing gender equality in entrepreneurship. The resources, training, and mentorship provided through the centre enable Pakistani women to move from the informal sector to the formal sector while generating momentum for measurable economic and societal change. The centre is supported by the US Department of State in partnership with Start Up Cup INC, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad, Change Mechanics, and the Hashoo Foundation.