The entrepreneurship wing of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) partnered with Facebook to bring Facebook’s She Means Business to Pakistan in an effort to promote and encourage women. With a focus on women led businesses, the conversation aimed at opening dialogue on challenges and possibilities using the internet for business growth.

SheMeansBusiness is a series by Facebook that aims to discuss skills and technology required to establish business presence and connect with potential customers by increasing their reach.

Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman at PITB said as per a report, “We are excited to team up with Facebook to encourage entrepreneurship and increase opportunities for flexible working as part of our commitment to support #SheMeansBusiness. In Pakistan, women-owned enterprises represent an insubstantial portion of existing SMEs.”

Ritesh Mehta, ‎Head of Economic Growth Initiatives, India, and South Asia, at Facebook, said, “Globally, 50 million Small & Medium Business (SMB) have pages on Facebook, and the number of new women-owned SMB Pages on Facebook has increased approximately four-fold, nearly doubling in the past year. Through SheMeansBusiness and the support of our partner’s initiatives, like PITB’s Herself, we want to shine a light on the women who start or run small businesses in Pakistan and empower them to do more – so that their families, their communities and ultimately the Pakistan economy will benefit.”

One of the women entrepreneurs in the spotlight is a lady who has built her business online named Rameeza Moin. The co-founder and CEO of Transparent Hands, Pakistan’s premier crowd funding portal in the health care industry. Transparent Hands uses social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to raise funds and awareness directly with a global audience. With the addition of a Donate button on the Facebook Page, people can now contribute to the non-profit organization in a quick way, without leaving the platform.

PITB launched Herself in June 2016, prompted by a worryingly low ratio of women in Pakistan’s largest Tech Incubator, Accelerator and co-working space for freelancers (Plan9, PlanX & TechHub Connect respectively). The management team, largely comprising of women, took it upon themselves to increase this number by starting Herself. The initiative aims to provide business training and support the expanded participation of women in the workforce including women looking to set up a new business. Herself gives pre-incubation training to selected women who are shortlisted after interviews with the team. Since its launch in June 2016, Herself has already completed its first cycle, in which 38 women were trained. The second cycle has been launched and the applications are open! Herself targets women from all walks of life who are ambitious to take the entrepreneurial route.