There’s a lot of debate about the disproportionate representation of women in tech and what needs to be done for a more diverse workplace. You know there’s a problem when only 5% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women and it’s an issue constantly highlighted by the Western press.
Here are four women who are building innovative companies in Pakistan:
Madeeha is co-founder of Savaree, a ride-sharing and taxi app start-up that was borne out of a civic hackathon. At the time Madeeha was employed as a graphic designer, but quit her job to work full-time on the idea. The firm has been through various stages of incubation and acceleration.
Sidra is co-founder of Markhor, the first Pakistani start-up to be accepted into Y Combinator. Markhor, which makes luxury handcrafted shoes, burst on to the scene when it flew past its Kickstarter funding target by $92,000, attracting backers from 32 different countries. The start-up’s value proposition lies in its ethical commitment to empower the craftsmen it employs – wages are much higher than existing market rates and they’re treated as part of the team.
Arusha is the co-founder of MySmacEd, a communication platform which enables real-time sharing between parents, teachers, students, and administrators. The edtech start-up raised seed funding earlier this year, valuing the company at $2 million. Arusha says they work on a freemium model – and have expanded into the Middle East, where they have a few schools running a pilot programme.
Sahr is the founder and CEO of BeautyHooked, a marketplace for beauty services and professionals. Sahr, a former banker and Cornell business school graduate, plans to eventually move away from the marketplace model and also introduce a white-label e-commerce platform, selling beauty and fashion products.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here.