“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
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.