CIRCLE & HBL To Bring “She Loves Tech” Back To Pakistan To Empower 25,000 Women

CIRCLE is bringing She Loves Tech 2021 – a women-centric global technology startup acceleration competition – back to Pakistan for the fifth time.

This year, CIRCLE will be hosting She Loves Tech Pakistan in 13 cities – including Gilgit Baltistan, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Multan, and Faisalabad – while working with different NGOs, academic institutes, incubators, and ecosystem partners across the country.

In 2020, CIRCLE hosted the competition virtually because of the ongoing pandemic and had a chance to extend it to 10 cities. The competition was received with enthusiasm as it received 250+ applications, thereby reinforcing the fact that women want to be a part of the technology sector.

Hira Irshad of APRUS Technology won Pakistan She Loves Tech National competition in 2020, which gave her a chance to represent Pakistan and compete with 30 highly competitive startups from across the globe at the Global finals. She said,

The platform really enabled me to have a bird eye view of what was happening in the entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world. The mentors, judges and founders make up for an unbeatable group of thought leaders that one can really benefit from

The competition gave Hira a chance to interact with female entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, which gave her a deeper insight into ways of growing her business.

A Closer Look At She Loves Tech 2021

This year, CIRCLE – in partnership with reputable organizations such as HBL and UNDP – is hosting 10 local rounds in 13 cities that will once again happen virtually, making it possible for women anywhere in Pakistan to join from the comfort of their homes. The goal is to reach 26,000 young women through pitches, panels, inspiring talks, digital bootcamps, and workshops specially designed for them.

Regarding this year’s competition, HBL’s Chief Operating Officer, Sagheer Mufti, says,

Women in Pakistan must have access to equal opportunities and a seat-at-the-table. Women entrepreneurs should be able to realize their dreams empowered by technology, innovation and disruptive thinking. Through this partnership with CIRCLE on She Loves Tech 2021, HBL will play its role in building an inclusive ecosystem for all Pakistani women

Encouraging all women entrepreneurs to participate and join us, CIRCLE’s founder Sadaffe Abid says,

Women in Pakistan must have access to equal opportunities and a seat-at-the-table. Women entrepreneurs should be able to realize their dreams empowered by technology, innovation and disruptive thinking. Through this partnership with CIRCLE on She Loves Tech 2021, HBL will play its role in building an inclusive ecosystem for all Pakistani women.

The 2021 edition of She Loves Tech will be happening in 40+ locations including China, Germany, Singapore, and Hong Kong. CIRCLE is bringing key incubators and stakeholders on board to execute the local rounds of the competition.

60 startups from the local rounds will pitch in the semifinals and then the country’s top 10 will compete in the final round.

Prior to the final, there will be workshops from industry experts and top mentors will be assigned to the finalists who will be able to hold office hours with the mentors on topics ranging from marketing, business planning, fundraising, etc.

Lastly, along with immeasurable business contacts and exposure, the winning startup-owners will receive a cash prize of $50,000.

Eligibility Criteria

Early-stage startups that have a viable product beyond a conceptual stage are eligible to apply.

Male entrepreneurs can also apply if their technology startup is impacting women positively or technology startups that have at least one woman entrepreneur in the founding team. A startup can figure out its eligibility by answering the following questions:

  • Are a significant proportion of end-users or consumers female?
  • Are products specifically designed with women in mind?
  • Does the product itself address a problem that disproportionately affects women?

For more information, contact circlewomenpakistan@gmail.com.

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