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ISLAMABAD: Jazz, the largest digital operator along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have joined hands to empower 413 women social entrepreneurs across 12 cities of Pakistan with essential business knowledge and skills to manage sustainable social enterprises.

Empowering these women across the country reflects a significant commitment by Jazz and UNDP to foster sustainable social enterprises. This initiative not only provides essential business knowledge but also contributes to the broader goal of empowering women economically and promoting social innovation.

“Jazz and UNDP have launched the Women Initiative in Social Entrepreneurship (WISE) to promote women-led social innovation in Pakistan. Over the course of four days, the programmer creates an interactive and supportive learning environment, focusing on the fundamental elements of setting up a successful business,” said Jehangir Ashraf, Youth Economic Empowerment officer, UNDP Pakistan.

One of the WISE participants, Laraib owner of Laraib Cosmetic and Makeup by Laraib, while talking to Business Recorder appreciated the role of Jazz alongside UNDP in the transformative capacity building. “It’s inspiring to see Jazz’s commitment to women’s empowerment through initiatives like WISE.

The focus on education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship opportunities demonstrates a holistic approach to fostering positive change. Such collaborations with the UNDP showcase the potential for corporate partnerships to drive social impact and contribute to Sustainable Development Goals.”

Jazz, the cellular company, demonstrates its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by actively promoting women empowerment initiatives, said Fahad Rehman, head of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Jazz.

This includes supporting educational programs, providing vocational training, and fostering entrepreneurship opportunities for women. Through partnerships with other organizations, Jazz aims to create a positive impact on women’s lives, contributing to their economic independence and social well-being. Additionally, the company also engage in awareness campaigns and advocates for gender equality to further strengthen its CSR efforts in women empowerment, he added.

To strengthen the start-up ecosystem in Pakistan, in 2020, Jazz and UNDP partnered to launch SDG Bootcamps to promote social innovation and entrepreneurship by youth in Pakistan. The SDG Bootcamps engaged 401 participants, 40 per cent of them being women entrepreneurs. The solutions addressed by these enterprises included climate action, health, and digital transformation.

CEO Jazz Aamir Ibrahim also validated that “WISE is aimed at empowering Pakistani women by creating opportunities for financial and digital inclusion for the women and youth. This outcome resonates well with Jazz’s purpose of improving the lives and livelihoods of women in Pakistan through technology. We hope that women-led businesses in WISE will address unique challenges and create innovative solutions that positively impact their communities and beyond.”

“Digital space in Pakistan must be a place for gender equality, for social and economic empowerment and inclusion. Knowledge and skills of technology and innovative entrepreneurship are all part of this ecosystem. If we get it right, development indicators of inclusion and gender equality will achieve their positive trajectory,” remarked Samuel Rizk, UNDP’s Resident Representative to Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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