By: Ahtesham Azhar
KARACHI: Dawood Global Foundation (DGF) organised 3rd ‘LADIESFUND Entrepreneurship Conference’ (LEC 2012), at Bahria Auditorium on Saturday. More than 500 VIPs, women entrepreneurs, male and female students and media gathered to hear the inside scoop to success.
This year’s theme was Cutting Edge Entrepreneurship and the event also featured Pakistan’s first Student Entrepreneurship Exhibition showcasing the work of students from different universities and even included some stalls from students.
Tara Uzra Dawood, President of DGF, welcomed all guests. There was a short launch of MadDi Murtaza’s new brand MadTees followed by panel discussions with Frieha Altaf (Catwalk), Amin Gulgee, Azmay & Samia Shahzada, Madiha Sultan Tai & Lal Majid, Dr Saadia Virk Rizvi (South City Hospital), Shallum Xavier (Fuzon) and Rabia Gareeb (CIO Pakistan). Sidra Iqbal moderated and Talat Hashimi conducted recitation.
The audience was packed by VIPs, including Dr Ishrat Hussain, Khalid Mirza, Italian Deputy CG Giuliana Grandi, Nilofer Saeed, Zeenat S Ahmed, American Business Council President Saad Amanullah Khan, Pomme Gohar, Kaukab Shahbaz, Misha Lakhani, Majyd Aziz Balagamwalla, Nazneen Tariq Khan, Ghazala Humayum, Sarah Najmi, Rumeena Ishtiaq, Talat Rahim, among others. Arif Zaman of the Commonwealth flew from England to attend the event.
“We are delighted to be showcasing some of our countries most proven and exciting talent,” Dawood stated, “The Pakistani dream is alive and well.”
She said that they have approximately 12,000 women and youth in their network and our motto is Inspire-Connect-Educate. Their mission is to connect Pakistani women professionals and entrepreneurs to each other and the best of local/national/international resources and opportunities; educate them on best business and entrepreneur practices; and inspire them with success stories and heroes.
The annual September conferences (LEC) attract well over 600 people, including Pakistani women entrepreneurs and 400 male and female university students from 10 different universities and their recent 4th LADIESFUND Women’s Awards celebrated Pakistani icons including Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and late Arfa Karim.
The conference was sponsored and supported by more than 60 partners across the world. It was followed by stall viewing with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Dr Salima Ahmed, President of BPW. Best stall was won by Saima Haq & Students with Special Needs.
“The impact of LADIESFUND on the working women culture has been significant,” said Maheen Khan, LADIESFUND National Bonds Scholarship winner.
“LEC 2012 has helped form a community of working women as well as a pipeline for sales and human resource.” LEC 2012 was organised by DGF in partnership with Dawood Capital Management Limited and Higher Education Commission.