She Owns It
Explain your idea in details:
She Owns it is an Ecommerce ( www.Apnidukkanonline.com ) initiative that will see the number of women in Ecommerce grow at national level. Our objective is to: Enable women in Pakistan to be able to use E-Commerce to set up or expand their businesses through E-Commerce. At household level we will prioritise in targeting both mother and daughter into an online business. 1. We will do this by creating an Ecommerce platform that will enable women to set up their independent online stores with their own domain at a click of a button. 2. We will create a support programme that will engage, train and support women to set up or expand their businesses through the Ecommerce platform. Our holistic support programme will target all key challenges women encounter in Pakistan to push for better uptake and sustainability of their businesses. 3. The E-commerce platform will also be used on commercial basis to generate income to sustain the programme. 4. Additional support through partners including microfinancing Pakistan is the 6th largest country by population and with one of the largest youth bugle in the world, our economic indicators still present a bleak picture. We rank 144 out of 145 at Gender Gap Index, 143 at Economic index and 135 at the Education Index as per the World Economic Forum report 2015. Looking back at the figures from previous 10 years, we can see Pakistan has been at the same position. Women in Pakistan face additional challenges including cultural, religious and access, more so with 48% literacy rate complicates the situation further. This programme will be able to help women become economically independent and connect with the world to improve their economic conditions. Thousands of women will benefit from free trainings, start up support and business advice over many years to come.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Encouraging women entrepreneurship will also address challenges such as malnutrition of children. According to, the National Nutrition Survey nearly 50% of children and 60% of women in Pakistan are severely under nourished. Malnutrition of children is also a reason for high absence and dropout rate from schools particularly in the rural areas. We can see that an economically strong woman will affect the development of society in several ways. In the first phase of the programme, our target are women in Urban and semi urban areas who already have micro businesses established or aspire to establish one. The programme will then be expanded to women in rural areas with highest poverty rate. During the first year of programme, we will target to work with 500 women and expand as the social enterprise starts to generate income. Annual targets will be set based on expected income. Evaluation of success is key to programme development in the long term. The Ecommerce platform will be able to provide the statistics to monitor increase in income of supported women and also from where the most orders are being placed which will also help with their future business planning. Other tools such as regular feedback, video diaries will be created to measure and customer feedback will be recorded to measure real time impact and improvement required.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The programme will follow the following implementation plan: a. Awareness raising campaign: A campaign to engage women in the targeted area will be initiated. The campaign will include disseminating information through various platforms including marketing through social media, local newspapers, radio, mass SMS, local cable networks and door to leafleting. The aim is to inform all women who could benefit from the initiative. b. Needs assessment & support plan: After completing the registration process, women will go through a detailed needs assessment by trained business advisors. The needs assessment will identify skills gap, and challenges women are facing to setting up or expanding their businesses. A plan will be developed that covers all the support that will be provided through PAGE or partners. c. Setting up of online store: women with existing businesses will be helped to set up online stores through the Ecommerce platform. Women will be trained on how t0 display their products and on marketing techniques d. Training: various training workshops will be delivered by established entrepreneurs related to business development and management. e. Mentoring: mentoring will be provided by our business advisors and established entrepreneurs to guide women on ongoing basis. f. Call helpline: A phone helpline will provide advice & guidance on business related matters including tax, banking etc Women from poor backgrounds will be eligible to access the free service for 6 months, for further support from the programme women will be offered to take up paid membership for sustainability of the programme. To achieve sustainability, the Ecommerce platform will be offered on commercial as well on reasonable rates to continue income generation. Partnerships will be developed with start up incubators and organisations running livelihoods programmes and women business chambers. Initial financing will be sourced through generating funds through donor network.
I am 33, a social entrepreneur by heart and strongly believe that social entrepreneurship is the model to move forward with if work has to be done on social issues through sustainable solutions. This is what I learnt at the age of 16 when I was encouraged by my mother to get involved in her organisation in Pakistan that supported women in business by connecting them to the right places, I saw lives being changed, and women earning good money who had never thought they can ever do that. That experience strengthened my belief in women education and economic empowerment. At the age of 18 I had the opportunity to set up my own social enterprise "Inspired Sisters" in Manchester, UK. The Social enterprise that got started in one small room with 3 loaned PC's grew to become a hub where women could access all types of development opportunities to become economically active. it helped over 3000 women to train and get into sustainable employment. My methodology is that a solution exist to every problem we just need to be looking in the right place. For 9 years I lead the organisation through various growth challenges and was recognised through a number of awards. After 9 years of working in the UK as a single mother, I was ready for more challenge and made the biggest decision of moving to Pakistan to help with education and economic reforms. Seeing the level of poverty here and the challenges girls and women are facing, I realise the importance of providing solutions that can work. The only quality I believe I have is, that I never give up regardless of the type of challenge. I know you can never go wrong with the cocktail of right intentions and hard work.