Women Entrepreneurship Program (WEP)

Women constitute more than 50% of the world population and contribute towards national development in multiple ways including: education, engineering, medicine, agriculture and creatively managing and raising their families etc. Although an increasing number of women are joining the HEIs (Higher Education Institutions), but still in a developing country like Pakistan, major numbers of women opt out of the work force due to various social, cultural and other reasons i.e. long working hours, lack of encouragement, non-availability of childcare centers or part time and flexible jobs etc. This in turn curbs their innovative and entrepreneurial pursuits. Moreover, the existing model of entrepreneurship assumes that entrepreneurial activities need full time commitment, a lot of resources, planning and strategy. This mindset further discourages any entrepreneurial initiative.

Hence, looking at the socially-inclusive family system of the country, IBA Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) developed a unique indigenous women entrepreneurship model (Fig 1) which resonates with the culturally sensitive Pakistani context. This model comprises of 3 major components:

  • Training on the 5 Principles of Effectuation i.e. to identify and start with the least amount of slack resources, to take small steps with a calculated risk and to remain open to surprises and collaboration.
  • Family-Centered Women Entrepreneurship i.e. training the women to develop a collaborative mindset and leverage their existing family networks to create a win-win situation not only for themselves but also for their family members and make the whole family win.
  • Role of a woman as a Nation Builder i.e. history reflects that women did not limit their roles to themselves but have contributed in the larger picture and context of nation building. The German mothers and grandmothers played an important role after world-war-II as they took the responsibility of rebuilding the nation after the war. From an Islamic perspective the life of the great women like Hajira, Asia, Mariam, Khadija, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with them all) played a very important role in nation building. They were not only supporting their families but were engaged in nation building activities which impacted millions of people. This program aims to develop a mindset of service and contribution in the Pakistani women entrepreneurs.

IBA Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) became the first Center to introduce a first of its kind "Women Entrepreneurship Program" in Pakistan. IBA CED launched a series of Women Entrepreneurship Programs in the past few years with an aim to reach the common Pakistani women irrespective of their educational background and experience. Up till now, more than 600 women entrepreneurs have gone through the entrepreneurial mindset training which helped them discover their entrepreneurial potential i.e. who they are, what they know and whom they know and enabled them to identify the hidden resources around them. This training further enhanced their self-efficacy (khudi), calculated risk taking capability, leveraging their family resources and networks. Our experience has shown that even without a strong academic background, a common Pakistani woman has the potential to pursue entrepreneurship in a way that is socially, ethically and environmentally sustainable and which leads to nation building.



Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award

"This model has won the "Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award" by USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) in 2017."


The USASBE award won by the IBA Women Entrepreneurship Program (WEP) in 2017.