KARACHI (15th July 2017): NOWPDP – a disability inclusion initiative – 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 the 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.
Razi Abbas – a shortlisted potential entrepreneur with physical impairment summed it up accurately, “Persons with disabilities can do anything – you must possess this thinking. For example, I know tailoring and want to pursue it as a business, training and employing persons with disabilities in the process as well. It is not just about progressing in our careers but also doing something for our families and choosing a different employment path (self-employment). Everyone must try.”