Qadam Barhao participants at the U.S. Consulate on Women's Day

Karachi – U.S. Consulate General Karachi hosted participants of Qadam Barhao, a U.S. Consulate-sponsored initiative to help women entrepreneurs, on March 8 to commemorate International Women’s Day.

U.S. Consul General Mark Stroh welcomed 23 Karachi-based alumnae of Qadam Barhao, Femprow founder Nadia Patel Gangjee, and representatives of State Bank of Pakistan and Injaz, two of several organizations that supported Qadam Barhao’s first edition.

As Consul General Stroh explained, “Qadam Barhao is just one example of the United States’ commitment to further develop women’s entrepreneurship, women’s financial inclusion, and women’s equality…. We believe that empowering women is a strategic investment in the future for Pakistan and the global economy.”

Qadam Barhao first launched in March 2021 with three virtual training and mentoring sessions on e-commerce and access to capital.  On November 12, 2022, U.S. Consulate General Karachi joined with Femprow, and Lincoln Corners Pakistan to launch a second, expanded edition of Qadam Barhao.  It provided an eight-week business growth fellowship for 55 women-owned businesses across Sindh and Balochistan working in categories ranging from fashion, photography, food and beverage, beauty and skincare, arts and crafts, digital printing, and environment-friendly products. Training sessions covered the use of technology in business, digital marketing, e-commerce platforms, digital payments, logistics, product photography, inventory management, influencer marketing, customer service management, financial management, company registration, legal documentation, loans for small businesses, creating business pitches and more.

As the United States honors the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations, we re-affirm our support for the advancement and achievements of Pakistani women.  The full, meaningful participation of women in the arts, business, government, the arts, and life is essential to ensure that the United States, Pakistan, and any society reaches its full potential.