KARACHI: What you want to do defines you and the luckiest person is the one who loves his or her job and wants to come back and do it every day.
This sentiment was repeated by female entrepreneurs at a workshop titled ‘Women X And Women’s Entrepreneurship’ at the Pearl Continental hotel on Wednesday. These successful entrepreneurs shared their personal struggles in pursuing their passions and motivated the participants to step forward and do what they want.
One such source of inspiration was Dr Urooj Mumtaz Khan, the former captain of the Pakistan’s women’s cricket team, who is now running a family dental clinic. She related a moment from the 1992 Cricket World Cup semi-final match when Imran Khan and Australia’s captain headed out for the toss. Khan was not wearing his cricket gear and instead sported a white t-shirt with a tiger printed in the centre. “He had motivated his team members on the field by calling them cornered tigers — a dangerous position for them,” she said, adding that cricket taught her motivation and tolerance above everything else.
Sharing his observations on case studies gathered by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) on female entrepreneurs, the director of IBA’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Development, Dr Shahid Qureshi, said that these women entrepreneurs do the opposite of what is taught at IBA. “For entrepreneurship, we suggest planning and resourcefulness, when in reality entrepreneurship is done with no money,” he said. Dr Qureshi claimed that these iconic women pursued their dreams and hobbies and took very calculated risks, which not only made sense but is a source of inspiration for us too. Sharing the story of a couple, where the wife started preparing cakes at home, he said that the husband had quit his job and joined her. “Now their efforts are a part of history,” he said.
Kashf Foundation CEO Sadaffe Abid shared some fascinating statistics on female leadership across the globe. “The strength of women CEOs in the world is under five per cent. The return on equity is 34 per cent when women are CEOs or on the boards of companies, according to research,” she said.
She too told an interesting tale of a female researcher in the US, Elizabeth, whose work will help US save $200 billion annually. “Her medical breakthrough will allow hundreds of tests to be conducted using a single drop of blood,” she explained. Abid said that women tend to hold back and this is something that should be addressed, as it is entirely in their control. “Say yes to new situations, develop confidantes and be willing to support each other,” she advised.