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Peshawar women chamber planning to motivate female entrepreneurs

PESHAWAR: The newly elected President of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) Azra Jamshed said she was aiming to provide exposure to women entrepreneurs.

Talking to The News, Azra Jamshed said she wanted to encourage skilled women to market their products and generate income. She said the WCCI would help women to increase their income by improving their skills. Azra Jamshed urged the women artisans to come forward and avail the opportunities being offered by the government.

“The objective of the WCCI is to connect, support and empower women to bring prosperity,” she added. Azra Jamshed pointed out that the State Bank of Pakistan, First Women Bank and other institutions supported women entrepreneurs to start their businesses. She added that recently WCCI and Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa jointly arranged market linkage convention in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“The event aimed at exploring the beauty of the country and encouraging women entrepreneurs belonging to various areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” she added. Azra Jamshed said they would welcome the tribal elders and seek their support and cooperation to encourage women from the erstwhile tribal areas to set up their businesses.

However, she noted that the recent one percent increase in interest rate by State Bank of Pakistan affected the business community and increased inflation. She asked the government to adopt business-friendly policy for the small entrepreneurs.

Azra Jamshed informed that WCCI had trained many womenin cooking, baking, sewing and online businesses and was now planning to start driving classes for females.

WCCI Founder Fitrat Ilyas Bilour said the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2010 to safeguard the interests of women entrepreneurs in the province. She added that currently WCCI had 400 members.

Fitrat Bilour said that for potential women entrepreneurs, the chamber aimed to provide one-window facility. “For established businesswomen, the chamber would provide a forum for debate and discussion and opportunity to interact with local and international counterparts,” she added.

She said although women were very enthusiastic about every sector of life, they cannot move without the support of male family members. She said WCCI had made a plan to encourage tribal women and support them to utilise their abilities.

Fitrat Bilour said tribal women were talented but they were restricted to their houses and had no platform to utilise their abilities. She claimed there was no concept in tribal region to make national identity cards for women.

“The WCCI members have decided that they would convince the tribal elders to allow the women to have identity cards,” she added. She mentioned that there were 12 women chamber all over the country and all were linked with each other.

The News