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LAHORE: The participants of the First Private Sector Consultative Session organised by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) at a local hotel unanimously supported the creation of a separate SME Policy for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

FCDO-funded organisation ReMIT was co-organiser of the session.

Dr Shehla Javaid Akram, founder President of the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry addressed the session as key note speaker.

Nadia Jehangir Seth, GM Policy and Planning of SMEDA and Usman Khan, Investment and Climate Financing Expert of REMIT also spoke on this occasion.

Stakeholders and participants of the session demanded a level playing field for the women entrepreneurs of Pakistan to make them active contributors to the national economy.

The speakers were of the view that development of an exclusive Women Entrepreneurship Policy (WEP) and Action plan would prove to be a game changer in economic development of Pakistan.

It is encouraging that ReMIT, UKAid, ADB, and UN Women are key partners in this initiative.

The session brought together women entrepreneurs from various business sectors, development partners and governmental representatives to discuss the foremost challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

Earlier, the session was given an overview of the current women entrepreneurial landscape by SMEDA and ReMIT teams, which was followed by a breakout group activity on the themes of Access to Finance, Market Access, Regulations Licensing and Taxation, and Business Development Services. These sessions facilitated vibrant discussions and exchange of ideas, leading to practical recommendations for policy formation.

The activity brought forward productive guidelines for development of a comprehensive and supportive Women Entrepreneurship Policy and Action Plan. The session demonstrated a strong commitment from all stakeholders towards creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

SMEDA GM for Policy and Planning Nadia Jehangir Seth extended gratitude to all participants and partners for their valuable contributions and looked forward to continued collaboration in advancing women’s entrepreneurship in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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