The second edition of She Loves Tech Pakistan concluded on August 16, 2018 at the National Incubation Centre in Karachi, where the final round of the competition, which attracted participation from over 80 tech start-ups in Pakistan that have been founded or co-founded by women, was held.
Saba Khalid, founder of Raaji, a digital platform that educates, empowers and entertains women via a chatbot that can answer queries about various topics including harassment, health, education and employment, emerged as the winner of the competition. The first runner-up was Wajiha Habib, founder, Orbit-ed, an augmented reality based educational app, and the second runner-up was Naureen Hayat, co-founder and Business Head of Tez Financial Services; she received the award for the company’s app Tez which provides people with instant access to an array of financial services.
Khalid will now go to Beijing, China, to represent Pakistan and compete in the Global Finals of She Loves Tech with winners from 13 other countries where the competition is also held.
She Loves Tech Pakistan is organised by CIRCLE, an organisation that aims to empower women and increase their economic participation through entrepreneurship, advocacy campaigns and research. CIRCLE was founded by Sadaffe Abid, who previously led the Kashf Foundation.
“SheLovesTech is giving a lot of budding entrepreneurs a great opportunity. Some of the ideas are absolutely fascinating and tapping into new markets. I think that they are going to create a lot of new industries and new jobs. This initiative deserves all the support and I’m very glad to be here.”
Speaking at the event, Abid was of the opinion that, “Pakistani women are enterprising, creative and resilient. We must create opportunities for them to come forward whether as entrepreneurs, innovators or in leadership roles.”
The panel of judges included Jehan Ara, PASHA President, Yusuf Hussain, CEO Ignite, Naheed Memon, Chairperson Sindh Investment Board and Faraz Khan, CEO SEED Ventures.
For Memon, “SheLovesTech is giving a lot of budding entrepreneurs a great opportunity. Some of the ideas are absolutely fascinating and tapping into new markets. I think that they are going to create a lot of new industries and new jobs. This initiative deserves all the support and I’m very glad to be here.”
Elin Burns, UK Deputy High Commissioner Karachi & Trade Director for Pakistan, who delivered the keynote address at the finals said: “In my short time in Pakistan, I am glad to say that seeing successful women in leading roles doesn’t surprise me. I have met amazing women in a hugely diverse range of fields: from banking to law, from tech entrepreneurs to pilots. There is a wealth of talent in Pakistan, and She Loves Tech is just one example of that. I hope that this positive trend continues over coming years, contributing to Pakistan’s bright and prosperous future.”