Saturday, 15th July 2017: NOWPDP hosted the finale of Project Khud Mukhtar – a business idea competition for persons with disabilities, at the IBA (Institute of Business Administration) Karachi City Campus in Saddar. This project was initiated to economically empower persons with disabilities and is being executed in partnership with Planet N Group and IBA AMAN-CED (Center for Entrepreneurial Development).
More than 30 persons with disabilities were shortlisted from an initial pool of 100+. Men and women with physical, visual and hearing impairment, from across Karachi presented their business ideas to the jury in group and individual form. These individuals underwent various stages to refine their business plans and prepare for the finale, especially in the mentorship phase where experienced entrepreneurs from Karachi were assigned to them for guidance and knowledge-sharing.
Mr. Amin Hashwani – President NOWPDP remarked, “Independence relies on opportunities created, availed and the subsequent drive to capitalize on these. With high rates of unemployment and low levels of literacy preventing the disenfranchised from truly becoming contributing members of society, there is a need to encourage grass root innovation through entrepreneurship. We hope that Khud Mukhtar is the first of many steps to create an eco-system that encourages persons with disabilities to think outside the realm of conventional job opportunities and to instill a sense of self-belief that they too can thrive. ”
“10xC and PlanetN Group are very excited to support entrepreneurship with NOWPDP at the grassroots level. It’s often easy for us to overlook talented entrepreneurs in communities who may or may not have the access or resources needed to build a sustainable startup – By partnering with NOWPDP, 10xC is able to identify those entrepreneurs early and help them reach heights otherwise more difficult to achieve” added Mr. Saif Akhtar, CEO 10xC.
Afshan Bibi, who has a physical impairment, runs a beauty parlour and a boutique from a room in her small apartment in Nazimabad. She said that currently she buys make-up stuff from Meena Bazaar but wanted to get more sophisticated and expensive brands. “I also don’t have proper equipment for my parlour at the moment such as hair-dryers and manicure and pedicure machines,” she said. “If I can buy those and upgrade the parlour I can beat my competition like all those other beauty parlours in the same building where I live,” she added.
More such business idea pitches included Irfan Jan’s furniture supply to offices business, Zeeshan’s event management company idea, Kamran Ali’s mini-grocery market, Razi Abbas’s tailoring shop and Allah Bux’s barbershop. After reviewing all ideas, atleast 10 from the 30+ would be selected by the jury for funding. NOWPDP is thankful to all its partners for the support and looks forward to the success of its first batch of entrepreneurs.