LAHORE: Kashf Foundation, with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hosted the Kashf Entrepreneurship Awards 2020, on Thursday March 12, 2020 during a special ceremony held in Lahore. The event was graced by the presence of Chief Guest Justice Nasira Javid Iqbal, a well-known Pakistani jurist and a law professor who also served at the position of Justice at the Lahore High Court from 1994 to 2002. Surely, her achievements inspire many young Pakistani women to aim higher and conquer their goals. Likewise, Kashf Entrepreneurship awards is also an attempt to recognize and honour the efforts and perseverance of exceptional Kashf female entrepreneurs and field staff from all across Pakistan, who serve as an inspiration for others and have contributed to a positive social and economic change while blazing a trail for the new generation of aspiring women entrepreneurs.
“Women entrepreneurship is a simple concept to explain, but challenging to embody and enrich. Pakistani women are equally skilled and talented as men. This Women’s Day we want to acknowledge the efforts of all our brave women from across Pakistan who have been breaking stereotypes and growing phenomenally as outstanding women entrepreneurs. This event serves to recognize all our heroic female entrepreneurs and artisans and the legacy of success and inspiration they are carving out for others to follow”, commented Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director at Kashf Foundation.
Ten inspiring women entrepreneurs and business development officers were recognised for their self-belief, resilience and passion. The awards ranged from honouring women based on their innovative achievements, inspiration, and community service to balancing domestic duties alongside their businesses. These women were selected without any discrimination on the basis of caste or religion and solely applauded for their path breaking initiatives, mostly in male dominant communities.
Distinguished guests from all walks of life attended the event. These included partners such as The Coca-Cola Export Corporation (TCCEC), Sindh Education Fund, Population Welfare Department, United Nations Women as well as dignitaries, government officials and high-profile celebrities – to celebrate and laud the success of Kashf entrepreneurs and artisans. The awards were distributed by Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director at Kashf Foundation in the presence of Chief Guest Justice Nasira Javid Iqbal and top officials from UNDP.
“In 2018 UNDP pledged to empower 8000 youth by improving their capacity to start their own businesses. By 2019, more than 8000 were trained of which more than 4000 started/expanded their business. Our partnership with Kashf is the best practical example of gender equity by creating women entrepreneurs who support their families through improved livelihoods. Today, we salute these women around us who have been strong and resilient in every way of life” said Laura Sheridan, UNDP’s Programme Specialist (Youth Empowerment Program). Kashf Foundation, with support from all its partners, aims to galvanise a community of influential women entrepreneurs, from the grassroots, to harness their potential with Kashf’s financial and non-financial assistance, so they can be the change for themselves and for many others around them.