After traveling throughout the country conducting regional rounds in 5 cities – Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Abbottabad, the final round for She Loves Tech Pakistan was held at the Arts Council in Karachi on August 3rd. 12 of the best women-led or women-impact startups were selected from across the country to compete in the world’s largest women and technology startup competition – She Loves Tech.
This is the third year for She Loves Tech Pakistan, organized by CIRCLE, a social enterprise that works to promote women’s economic empowerment. This global startup competition could not take place on such a wide scale, especially in underserved areas, were it not for strong partners like Interloop, a progressive company working on bringing women into the workforce, HBL, the largest bank in the country and UNDP Pakistan. Inspiring female entrepreneurs presented their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges who then decided the final winner who will travel to Beijing, China in September to compete in the global finals.
She Loves Tech aims to promote women’s achievements in tech and highlight various female-led ventures. Every year, the national winner travels to China to attend the She Loves Tech Global Conference to pitch their startup to an international audience as well as to participate in a boot camp. The conference is held in more than 20 countries and in over 4 continents and aims to provide female entrepreneurs with a chance to stand out in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The competition was designed to encourage women from diverse fields to participate. Issues in the fields of mental health, science, education, and tourism were all brought to the surface, as the participants discussed the challenges their companies address. Representatives from notable organizations including National Incubation Centers, NCCPL, and the Ministry of Finance were present to encourage the women startups.
She Loves Tech Conference 2019 was a combined effort of various partners including Interloop Limited, HBL, and UNDP showing their strong commitment to diversity and innovation. Moreover, Cargill, Arbisoft, and E.Ocean supported the initiative as prize sponsors for the top three startups, DOT Mind Unlocked, PSSEC, and Madhatters. She Loves Tech Pakistan has been supported by Interloop as a platinum partner which is itself striving to bring about a diverse, robust and inclusive workforce by aiming to double women’s participation in their company by the end of this year.
The final began with an opening speech by Sadaffe Abid, CEO and founder of CIRCLE, and was followed by a powerful keynote speech by chief guest Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Former State Bank Governor who said: “In this time especially, we must rely on the muscle of our women to uplift and galvanise Pakistan’s economy”.