There’s been a lot of back forth regarding the unequal representation of Pakistani women in the workplace, especially in tech.
As the debate regarding how to diversify the workplace continues, several Pakistani women have continued to rise despite the numerous hurdles that have come their way.
This International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight the efforts of these strong women.
Women Led Tech Businesses in Pakistan
In no particular order, here are a few women led tech businesses in Pakistan that have transformed the tech world completely.
In 2019, founders Zainab Hameed and Sadia Junaid decided to tackle Pakistan’s education emergency. TeeSquare is their unique approach to illiteracy. Their premier product Team Taleem is revolutionizing Pre-K to Grade 2 education in Pakistan. This gamified learning app delivers 3 core subjects: English, Urdu and Maths delivered via a Tablet device. The method of instruction and depth of their courses lay a solid groundwork towards eradicating illiteracy in Pakistan. Anyone over the age of 3 years can use their solution and is particularly useful for adults who missed out on education in their younger age.
You can go ahead and purchase their learning kit and subscriptions via their website or participate by sponsoring education for others.
SheKab, founded by Hira Batool Rizvi, is Pakistan’s first subscription-based monthly carpool service for women, operating in the twin cities only. It connects progressive and working women with trusted and reliable drivers who provide shared monthly transportation services.
They follow a smart strategy of carpooling with 3 other passengers, which decreases the overall fare you pay and helps lower carbon dioxide emission into the environment.
All you need to do is register by providing your name, contact details, pickup, and drop-off location and specifying your preferred timings. Next, you’ll be provided an estimated daily and monthly fare on the application.
Once you’ve registered, you can match with a driver by downloading their app. Once you’ve been matched with the driver closest to your location, you can confirm the ride and be on your way in no time!
DOT is a mental health start-up that was established in 2015 with the aim to make mental health therapies more accessible, personalized, and above all, effective. Their approach, however, is quite unique.
They use a data-driven method that combines technology with mental health. Their DOT Headset, currently available for pre-order, interprets brainwaves by using Artificial Technology. This serves as a highly personalized therapy suited to your needs and requirements.
Founder and CEO Yishel Khan came up with 4 unique features that have been tailored for professional and individual use:
- Neuron: allows mental health caregivers to monitor patients’ actual time brainwave activity during therapy and helps them keep track of their progress and plan future sessions.
- Nerve: lets you track your progress, monitor your concentration levels, and play brain games that help improve your focus.
- Breath: an app that guides patients through meditation with basic exercises. Advised to pair with DOT Headset for maximized results.
- Snooze: helps you interpret and navigate sleep data by uploading an EDF file. This feature also provides you with preliminary diagnoses validated by consulting physicians.
Co-founded in 2020 by Aiman Bashir, Out-Class aims to provide students with a world-class education from the comfort of their homes. They’re a great alternative to the traditional tuition centers we’re accustomed to since students can take classes at their own convenience.
They’ve brought instructors from the best institutions worldwide under one platform that have decades of experience in their respective fields. Moreover, what makes them stand out from the rest, is that they’ve carefully modeled their courses and teaching style according to the latest research on the neuroscience of learning.
Knowing the younger generation and their schedules packed with things that compete for their attention, Out-Class helps students cover entire syllabi within just 25 hours!
So, if you’re struggling with an O-level Economics concept or cannot bring your SAT score above 1300, Out-Class can help you get the grade!
Sehat Kahani is Pakistan’s first telemedicine company, run by an all-female healthcare provider network. Since 2017, they’ve provided convenient and affordable healthcare access from certified and highly qualified doctors across Pakistan.
After observing the prevalence of the ‘doctor bride phenomena’ and the unfortunate 50 % dropout rate of female doctors from the workforce, founders Dr. Sara Saeed and Dr. Iffat Zafar set out on a mission to bring these women back into the workforce through the comfort of their homes.
Sehat Kahani aims to target women in under-developed parts of the country with limited access to good health care services. They connect female doctors who aren’t practicing medicine with patients through virtual meetings to openly discuss their health care concerns.
The system largely relies on health workers who run these E-health clinics where ultrasound, lab, and tertiary care referrals are accessible. Gradually, Sara and Iffat have successfully opened up E-health hubs in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Rahim Yar Khan, and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
We’ve covered Sehat Kahani in our telehealth services roundup post.
And finally, we’ve got Oraan, Pakistan’s first women-led women-first fintech startup. Founded by Halima Iqbal and Farwah Tapal, Oraan aims to offer women a safe, reliable, and flexible digital solution.
They intend to make finance a more inclusive experience, especially for women. Their Oraan Committees features allows you to borrow and save safely with thousands of people from across Pakistan.
All you need to do is:
- Apply for a committee slot by filling out a form with your budget and other details. Soon after, you’ll be matched to an OC.
- Go through a verification process and provide references to ensure a clean and secure system.
- Choose a preferred payment method: Bank Transfer, Easypaisa, JazzCash
- Download the app for easy management, get receipts, learn to grow your committee money, and so much more.
- And best of all, get paid on time!
Invest2Innovate, founded by Misbah Naqvi and Kalsoom Lakhani in 2011, has been working hard to support and provide technical assistance to start-ups in the growth markets. They do this by designing, developing, and delivering courses to help young Pakistani entrepreneurs by allowing them to connect directly with experienced mentors around the world.
Their program, the i2i Accelerator, is a 4-month program launched in 2012. They have since graduated 25 companies, raised $ 2.5M in capital, and created over 4000 job opportunities in Pakistan. In addition, they work closely with local investors to not only build projects but also increase the influx of capital.
Another program they’ve been working on is the i2i Ventures, which invests in pre-seed and seed-stage technology-based start-ups. Founders Misbah and Kalsoom, along with investment associate Ailia Naeem, have extensive market knowledge and are keen on solving some of the biggest issues faced here in the country.
Femprow is a collaboration between founder Nadia Patel Gangjee and project coordinator Sarah Hanif. Femprow aims to promote women’s professional growth and financial independence through both offline and online entrepreneurship education.
Their workshops provide skill-building training and hands-on experience around the basics of entrepreneurship, technology, marketing, finance, and soft skills development.
As a social initiative and growing community of women, they’re dedicated to promoting growth opportunities for female entrepreneurs. They offer social media visibility, market access, and collaborations with leading national and international organizations.
Some of Femprow’s perks include:
- Short, do-at-your-own-pace classes carefully tailored for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
- Opportunity to develop soft skills.
- Hands-on experience with different fields, including marketing, operations, finance, and more.
- Provide opportunities to collaborate with esteemed corporations.
- Community of like-minded women striving towards a joint cause.
While the journey to equal opportunities and representation for women is long ahead, it’s important to stop and celebrate how far we’ve come.
Let us know which women led tech businesses in Pakistan has impacted your life the most.
Happy International Women’s Day, here’s to being, knowing, and raising strong women!