Member's Day - January 2015

The Women’s Chamber of Industry & Commerce held their First Members’ Day for the New Year at Cinnamon Grand Hotel, 26th January 2015. This event made more interesting by the participation of the members who attended the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Regional workshop.

Chairperson of WCIC Rifa Musthapha gave the welcome address and emphasized that the WCIC would like to see more participation from our dynamic members. The event gave all the opportunity to hear first-hand stories of fellow women entrepreneurs from Women’s Chambers of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

First to share her experiences was Masooma Sibtain Shoaib, the Founder of South Punjab Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She spoke of the situation in Multan and added that most women entrepreneurs have set up home based industries. Masooma also revealed her endeavors to start an organization to gather women entrepreneurs who create the most exquisite embroidery and make them a part of a larger and more empowered group.

Shamama Arbab from Peshawar was the second guest speaker; her story was about her personal experience on unifying women from her region in order to empower them and therefore find better and larger markets for their products.

Rita Bhandari of Nepal spoke next of this inaccessible region, which has a heavy traffic of tourists because of the Himalayas and the difficulties face by Women Entrepreneurs. Final speaker, founder President of Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry Selima Ahmad recounted her story of breaking the chains of tradition. Hers is an inspirational story of how she got married at the age of 16 and became a mother at 17, leading to the final step of that being woman entrepreneur, leading to the final step that is a woman entrepreneur mentoring other such women in Bangladesh. Hard work, perseverance and commitment to her vision now has her as head of a 1500 strong member organization in Dhaka. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Oslo Business for Peace award along with Sir Richard Branson.

Member of WCIC and Fashion Designer Yasisurie Kiribandara gave us glimpse of her collection as a precursor to the upcoming Colombo Fashion Week 2015. Members dispersed having spent a fruitful evening of fellowship and networking. We would like to see more members attending such events. Please join us for the next Members Day.

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