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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Group has entered into a strategic partnership with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) to foster digital and economic inclusion of women entrepreneurs through training and access to digital and financial tools and opportunities for economic growth, said a press release.

Group Chief Commercial Officer (GCCO), PTCL Group, Adnan Anjum and Chief Operating Officer (COO), PPAF; Nadir Gul Barech signed the agreement at a ceremony held at Ufone Tower, Islamabad, in presence of senior officials from both organizations. This public-private partnership project will enable and up-skill women entrepreneurs to drive their businesses towards sustainable growth and resiliency.

The year-long, pilot project will be implemented across four union councils and ten villages in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, under which one hundred women entrepreneurs will be trained. The partnering institutions will implement a two-week training module using a standardized high-impact curriculum, focusing on digital literacy, business skills, and life skills that will come in handy in driving fledgling and small-scale businesses towards success and sustainable growth.

PTCL will allocate a physical space which will serve as a digitally enabled Hub with access to basic facilities like Internet and training spaces as a central venue for the training sessions. In addition to this Ufone will be providing smartphones with registered SIMs and data packages for the one-year project to ensure their full participation. PPAF will lead the identification and selection process of the women entrepreneurs leveraging its existing presence at community level through partner organizations already engaged in diverse development initiatives. PPAF will also contribute to the overall cost of the project on equity basis.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Group Chief Commercial Officer, PTCL & Ufone, Adnan Anjum said, “No nation can achieve economic growth and progress without including half of its population; that is why diversity and inclusion are core themes in PTCL’s business philosophy. I am glad that PTCL and PPAF are joining hands to enable and empower women entrepreneurs to leverage digital technology and access to finance to grow their businesses. PTCL and PPAF share the vision for inclusive growth at the grassroots level because we believe it will translate into a broad-based economic transformation at the macro level.”

Also sharing his thoughts, COO, PPAF, Nadir Gul Barech said: “We are glad to collaborate with PTCL for enabling and equipping one hundred up-and-coming small-scale businesses in District Haripur under our joint pilot and PTCL’s on boarding will be a game changer because of the project’s increased dependency on the internet and digital technology. PPAF has been working to foster economic growth and poverty alleviation across the country and we believe that initiatives like this will go a long way in ensuring inclusive economic growth. We look forward to nurturing our partnerships with other organizations like PTCL for enhancing opportunities for the underserved especially the rural women across the country.”

PTCL and PPAF will onboard more technical and strategic partners to add value to this pilot project, which is expected to produce an extraordinarily replicable model in women’s gender inclusion and women empowerment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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