Dis­cov­er­ing Ladies­Fund

“We are help­ing to de­velop a cul­ture where there is recog­ni­tion, hon­our, ap­pre­ci­a­tion and cel­e­bra­tion of achieve­ment so that a woman pro­fes­sional can be­come a busi­ness owner and leader in her own life.” – Tara Uzra Da­wood

Enterprise - - Contents -

What are the strengths of Ladies­Fund?

How im­por­tant is a pro­ject like Ladies­Fund for women of Pak­istan?

How do you pro­vide recog­ni­tion to women?

How do you reach peo­ple and how do they reach you?

What can be the best in­vest­ment strat­egy for Pak­istani women?

The mis­sion of Ladies­Fund is to pro­vide fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity to women by ed­u­cat­ing and em­pow­er­ing them through net­work­ing plat­forms, mag­a­zines and in­for­ma­tion sources.

The net­work of women pro­fes­sion­als and en­trepreneurs has be­come the strength of Ladies­Fund and it is be­ing strength­ened by the events we are hold­ing for them. Peo­ple are com­ing to us for jobs and for net­work­ing with dif­fer­ent peo­ple. This is the rea­son, we are look­ing to pro­vide an in­fra­struc­ture so that ev­ery­one in Pak­istan can know who these women en­trepreneurs are.

More­over, for­eign and lo­cal bod­ies are nom­i­nat­ing peo­ple for schol­ar­ships and other op­por­tu­ni­ties through us. The list goes on to our part­ner­ship with Har­vard Busi­ness School, our nom­i­na­tions of Pak­istan’s top 100 women and our en­trepreneur­ship ven­tures with Women Cham­bers of Com­merce. We are grow­ing and more peo­ple are com­ing to us.

It is ex­tremely im­por­tant, as our pro­jected goal is to ed­u­cate girls and change the world. If we pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to a woman, we transform her life, in terms of her fam­ily life, in terms of her com­mu­nity life, which turns into the coun­try’s life and then the econ­omy’s life. So what we do is fa­cil­i­tate the op­por­tu­ni­ties with knowl­edge, be­lief and con­fi­dence.

In Ladies­Fund mag­a­zine, Dr Ishrat Hus­sain talks about the fact that so many tal­ented women stop work­ing af­ter mar­riage. This leads the Pak­istani econ­omy to lag be­hind its neigh­bour­ing coun­try where in ev­ery field women are get­ting sub­si­dized ed­u­ca­tion from gov­ern­ment funds. Such train­ing is very im­por­tant for the eco­nomic sta­tus of Pak­istan. It is won­der­ful that there is more and more en­gage­ment now in uti­liz­ing such train­ing in our coun­try.

We have our awards. Ladies­Fund award not only rec­og­nizes the best of the best, it is very struc­tured too. The ‘Women of the Year’ award pre­sented by Ladies­Fund is rec­og­nized na­tion­wide.

In ad­di­tion, we are now fa­cil­i­tat­ing Ladies­Fund fel­low­ships which are pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to women to de­velop work links.

That’s where we need mag­a­zines like En­ter­prise to spread the word across. We are very grate­ful to the me­dia for their phe­nom­e­nal work. Also, there are about 80 part­ners of Ladies­Fund and with each part­ner we are con­tin­u­ing to grow. Each of these part­ners truly takes own­er­ship of their ef­forts. For com­mon ac­cess, we have our web­site www.eda­wood.com/ ladies­fund. Be­sides, Ladies­Fund is present on Twit­ter, YouTube, Linkedin and Face­book. We also have a UAN num­ber and would love to be con­tacted.

In­ter­est­ingly, women have very dif­fer­ent in­vest­ment needs than men. Women pre­fer longer ten­ure, risk-free and eth­i­cal in­vest­ment. Men usu­ally en­joy shorter tenures and risk and pay less at­ten­tion to the eth­i­cal side of the in­vest­ment. These are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent ap­proaches. Grow­ing fi­nan­cially strong is dif­fi­cult for women in a men-driven mar­ket. Women earn money through their own en­tre­pre­neur­ial work, through in­her­i­tance or di­vorce and this money is gen­er­ally not cap­tured by the fi­nan­cial sec­tor. The fi­nan­cial sec­tor also does not have a rel­e­vant fi­nan­cial prod­uct.

It not only be­comes frus­trat­ing for in­tel­li­gent and ed­u­cated women to meet un­trained re­la­tion­ship man­agers, but also the pro­vided lit­er­a­ture is not in­ter­est­ing for them. These miss­ing pri­or­i­ties of train­ing and fa­cil­i­ta­tion are gen­er­ally mis­taken with lesser un­der­stand­ing of women. Thus, women end up in keep­ing their money in a vanilla bank or stop both­er­ing or they buy jew­ellery, but do not delve into the op­por­tu­ni­ties of their own fi­nan­cial growth. We at Ladies­Fund have spe­cial­ized needs for women. We do it for women, men, cor­po­ra­tions and now we have a Baby Fund, where women are one part which we ad­dress.

Our peo­ple are gen­er­ally not linked with the con­cept of se­cu­rity for them­selves. Do you think is it easy to con­vince them in this re­gard?

Ev­ery­one has a com­mon life goal to give more, of­fer more and have more in their lives. Even if you are con­tent, it is hu­man na­ture to evolve and grow. So as long as you ad­dress that need, con­vinc­ing is easy.

How do you re­gard the sup­port sys­tem be­hind your achieve­ments?

The ma­jor sup­port is from Al­lah. We have sup­port from our 80-plus part­ners. We are very blessed to have multi­na­tion­als and SMEs in our net­work. There are of course the me­dia, our in­vestors and peo­ple who are us­ing this plat­form to do things for Pak­istan. Sup­port is even com­ing from the words of en­cour­age­ment as a re­sult of our suc­cess sto­ries. I re­ally be­lieve we all have the same goal

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with En­ter­prise, Tara Uzra Da­wood, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Da­wood Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment Ltd., dis­cusses her en­tre­pre­neur­ial com­pe­tence of Ladies­Fund.

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