Increased diversity among Pakistan’s business leaders thanks to the US Embassy

Web DeskJune 23, 20238133 min
Increased diversity among Pakistan's business leaders thanks to the US Embassy

The grand finale of “Rising Stars of Pakistan,” a startup competition for women and minority entrepreneurs, was organised by the US Embassy in Islamabad with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) serving as hosts.

“The US Mission to Pakistan is proud to be part of cultivating a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Pakistan and empowering young people to dream big, take risks, and become the job creators and change-makers that Pakistan needs,” Deputy Chief of Mission Andrew Schofer said in his opening remarks at he event.

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The US Embassy has provided $14.7 million in funding for over 181 entrepreneurship-related programmes since 2012. Pro-Rector NUST Dr. Rizwan Riaz joined Schofer and expressed gratitude for the U.S. government’s backing of Pakistani business ventures.

Dr. Riaz expressed his gratitude for the continuous partnership between the US Embassy and NUST to promote inclusiveness and diversity as well as to expand the number of varied leaders in Pakistan’s entrepreneurial sector who can help the country’s long-term economic success.

The top 26 emerging entrepreneurs had the chance to fly to Islamabad to showcase their ideas at the competition’s grand finale after more than 800 emerging firms participated throughout the competition’s various phases. There are 23 women, 2 men, and 1 transgender person among the finalists.

The diversity of the finalists’ religious and racial origins demonstrated the competition’s dedication to promote inclusivity and a varied business ecosystem. The top three business concepts each received PKR 1 million in initial funding.

The “Rising Stars of Pakistan” programme, sponsored by the US Embassy in Islamabad, was a partnership between NUST and Draper University in California. Silicon Valley-based Pakistani American professionals served as mentors for the aspiring Pakistani innovators.

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