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U.S. Embassy rewards innovation in Pakistan

Mahnoor Ansar

ISLAMABAD, Aug 3: The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad wishes to congratulate the four winners of the third Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) seeding funding competition. These women stood out among over 70 talented graduates, securing seed funding of $5500, $4500, $3500, and $2500 for their startups.

The competition was fierce, with emerging female entrepreneurs presenting ambitious plans they worked on during a 13-week course for start-ups. The winners impressed the judges with their knowledge of the market, ability to communicate their vision and the clear benefit to their communities that their businesses will provide.  

Meet the winners:

1.       Maria Ishfaq (Faisalabad): Maria’s start-up aims to revolutionize the energy sector with an eco-friendly coal product that will benefit consumers and the environment.

2.       Aniqa Sattar (Islamabad): With her organic fertilizer business, Aniqa offers a greener, healthier choice for the environment and consumers alike.

3.       Sabahat Musa (Quetta): From baking cakes to empowering women, Sabahat’s dessert shop start-up has a long-term vision to turn her business into a training ground and job creator for other women in her community.

4.       Saima Iqbal (Quetta): Through her beautiful textiles and knitted clothing, Saima provides more than fashion; she offers income and dignity to disabled craftspersons in Quetta.

These phenomenal women weren’t the only ones to be acknowledged. Honorable mentions were awarded to three additional inspiring entrepreneurs who are providing income and employment in refugee, transgender, and remote communities.

Building Bridges, Fostering Success

With personalized mentorship from seasoned Pakistani entrepreneurs, the 90 participants in the AWE program embarked on an intensive three-month journey. Their rigorous education in entrepreneurship paves the way for increased success, expansion opportunities, and connections to potential funding.   Held at seven of the U.S. Mission’s Lincoln Corners in Islamabad, Gilgit, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Karachi, Hyderabad, and Quetta, AWE Pakistan is more than a course – it’s a network and a movement.  Graduates join a global community that continues to offer growth and connections.

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