Sadaffe Abid, Founder & CEO - CIRCLE (standing 2nd from left), Abrar Mir, Chief Innovation & Financial Inclusion Officer - HBL (standing 3rd from left) Jamal Nasir, Chief Human Resources Officer - HBL (standing 2nd from right), and Sehrish Raza Founder & CEO - BizB (standing 3rd from right) at the final round of She Loves Tech 2023.
2nd October 2023, Karachi, Pakistan – The leading non-profit tech startup CIRCLE, in collaboration with HBL, proudly announces the victor of the 2023 She Loves Tech Pakistan competition, an event marking its successful seventh year. This win will propel Sehrish Raza Founder and CEO - BizB to represent Pakistan on the global stage at the She Loves Tech finale in Singapore, Oct 25-28.
CIRCLE Women dedicated to fostering innovation, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship among women in Pakistan brought She Loves Tech to the country in 2017. She Loves Tech, a globally renowned platform is now the world’s largest women and startup competition happening in 70 countries, providing crucial opportunities for women in technology to showcase groundbreaking ideas, connect with industry leaders, and access invaluable mentorship.
The 2023 She Loves Tech Pakistan competition brought 9 women led tech startups from across the country including cities like Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Multan and Islamabad to present their innovative ideas to a distinguished panel of judges at the final round held at HBL Sky Tower Office, Karachi. The competition showcased remarkable innovation and entrepreneurship, with Sehrish Raza clinching victory and a significant cash prize worth PKR 300,000 sponsored by 'Glow & Lovely'. Sehrish runs a marketplace with 45,000 registered users for buying and selling preloved dresses to promote sustainable fashion.
Reflecting on the initiative, Jamal Nasir, Chief Human Resources Officer - HBL, said, “HBL is committed to building a more inclusive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan. We believe that women have great potential and should be given equal opportunities to succeed. Through this partnership, we are empowering women to achieve their dreams by leveraging technology. This is not only essential for economic progress, but it is also aligned with our purpose of promoting financial and digital literacy among women.”
Sadaffe Abid, Founder and CEO of CIRCLE Women, emphasized the vital role of She Loves Tech, stating, “With Pakistan being at the bottom fourth of the global gender gap index and only 1% women entrepreneurs in Pakistan, She Loves Tech Pakistan is at the forefront of supporting women-led tech startups and inspiring women and girls across the nation to believe in themselves and adopt technology. This year with the support of our long-standing partner HBL, CIRCLE went to rural Pakistan including places like Hyderabad, Multan, Faisalabad and other locations hosting local rounds and building an ecosystem to support women and girls. When women and girls progress, we all succeed.”
The She Loves Tech Pakistan 2023 held regional rounds across ten cities in Pakistan, promoting women's entrepreneurship and empowerment. In collaboration with HBL, CIRCLE Women is devoted to boosting the impact of She Loves Tech in Pakistan, creating a supportive environment for startups led by women. CIRCLE Women goal is to inspire and drive positive change, encouraging women across the nation to embrace opportunities in the tech world.
Esteemed guests graced the event, including Sarah Mooney, British Deputy High Commissioner Karachi; renowned journalist Maria Memon; Shaista Ayesha, CEO - SEED Ventures; Bakhtawar Kiyani, first female Asian blind archer (World Games 2023) and Abrar Mir, Chief Innovation & Financial Inclusion Officer - HBL. Their presence added significant value and encouragement to this celebration of innovation and female empowerment.