Pakistan WE-NET partners with VV GROW

Pakistan WE-NET is delighted to share an opportunity to enter a world class accelerator program through its partner VV GROW.

The VV GROW Fellowship is a leading accelerator program for women owners of small and medium sized enterprises from around the world. The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their businesses and increase their leadership impact. Through online and in-person trainings, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value paired with action-oriented plans. They amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and their communities to create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits.

Through the fellowship, women entrepreneurs expand their knowledge about business planning, financial management, marketing, networking, leadership and other core topics related to entrepreneurship.

The one-year fellowship includes:

  1. Virtual Learning: Through a series of webinars, assignments, online courses, assessments, and one-on-one calls, fellows build their knowledge about core topics, assess and gain a greater understanding about the state of their business in order to develop a plan to grow.
  2. In-Person Training: Fellows participate in a four-day workshop during which they create an action plan to achieve their business growth goals. Fellows also get the opportunity to meet, network with, and learn from other fellows from across regions, Vital Voices staff and trainers and others.
  3. Growth Services and Support: Following the in-person training, Vital Voices staff connect fellows to individualized growth services and support.

Vital Voices Global Partnership is currently accepting applications for the 2019 VV GROW Fellowship. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please visit or apply online at

Maheen Khan’s Advice to Women Entrepreneurs

Maheen Khan, award-winning fashion designer and CEO of Gulabo, participated in a panel discussion on “Women in Fashion: Expanding Your Business” at Pakistan Women Entrepreneurs Network for Trade’s exclusive session on “Encouraging Women Entrepreneurship.”

Maheen advised women to “Get a professional to handle the job of social media.  It’s something that we don’t know how to do.  This is very important. It will really help you put your brand out there.  It’s not only about fashion. I look at my friend’s food brand but I look at it as a food boutique.”

Apart from social media, Maheen advised women entrepreneurs to invest in hiring a professional book keeper to allow themselves the time to focus on the creative aspect of fashion design, as opposed to book keeping and marketing.

Watch her video below:

WE-NET Reflect: Defying Cultural and Gender Norms

Pakistan WE-NET Board Member and CEO of De Sabaoon Shirkat, Lubna Farooq has gone up against numerous cultural barriers and gender-related constraints, but has risen above them all. She is the first woman in her family who has stepped out into the business world. Lubna addressed the audience to share her story at WE-NET’s session on “Encouraging Women Entrepreneurship” which was held on 24th January in Karachi, Pakistan.

“In Peshawar, we were brought up in a very strict environment and we were not even allowed to look at boys, let alone talk to them. When I was in the ninth grade, I was engaged to a cousin of mine, and I was very young. I was about 14 or 15 I think, and I was petrified because I was really studious and I went on to become the captain of my house. I couldn’t share the news of my engagement with anyone because it sort of belittled me, you know. I mean how could I be engaged, I wanted to do so much.  I then wanted to go to Lahore for my college education, but I wasn’t allowed because Lahore was much more advanced than Peshawar was so I was sent to a college in Peshawar. Thankfully, my engagement broke off after 4 years, so I was saved from that ordeal but then I suffered a very bad back injury in my third year of college, and was bedridden for almost a year. Obviously, being a Pathan girl, and having an engagement broken off which was in those days like having a marriage broken off, I had a stigma attached to me. People thought I was crippled for life because I was on bedrest, so you can well imagine that I was pretty depressed. I had to quit college and then I had to give my BA privately.”

However, despite all the odds, Lubna rose above and is now a consultant in entrepreneurship and enterprise development. She set up the first Events Management Company and later the first mineral water bottling plant in Peshawar.