ISLAMABAD    -    The 1st Business Women Excellence Awards were organized by the Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) that awarded Pakistan’s successful women entrepreneurs at Aiwan-e-Sadr during an event presided over by President Arif Alvi.

The event was organised by the founder president of IWCCI, Samina Fazal and president IWCCI   Naima Ansari who said that women entrepreneurs were contributing to national development by creating employment opportunities for others, adding to the economy and paying taxes to the government.

Speaking on the occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi urged the need to accelerate efforts for the economic empowerment of women and to bring them into the mainstream of the national economy, adding that the latest information and communication technology, big data and AI could help in paving way for women’s financial inclusion.

The SquarePeg (digital marketing agency) co-founders, Zunaira Omar and Maliha Safiullah were awarded with the 1st Business Excellence Award for being a women-led, women-owned agency that identified the need to bring international practices to the digital industry. In a short span of time, the company provided employment opportunities that were not restricted by gender, titles, demographics and societal limitations.  The company has won multitudes of international awards in 2 years for being a South Asian market leader in B2B marketing services.

“We need to change the narrative for the working women in South Asia. The SquarePeg is not just a marketing agency – we see ourselves as a women-led venture that has quality as its primary differentiator and that will inculcate working practices that make life easier for women who want to do more for themselves and are simply dismissed because of their family/social situations,” said   Maliha Safiullah who insisted on taking her infant child to work with her and establishing it as the new normal.

The digital media industry is often misunderstood for being synonymous with creating graphics and buying followers and likes. The SquarePeg works on providing end to end solutions to clients and has worked on taking only a few selected clients that they can provide hands-on focused attention to their entire business plan.

“For women, it’s game-over once they get married and start a family – the cost of this wasted potential is felt in manifolds by households and the economy at large. We at The SquarePeg want to change that and work on hybrid models or remote working models that let women work in a way that best suits their situations. A woman can adorn as many roles as she so wishes – this award comes as validation for the work we’re doing and we couldn’t be more excited,” said   Zunaira Omar.

The event recognised the efforts of women in different diverse fields and acknowledged that women were in fact the custodians of trade, business and investment.  President   Arif Alvi urged, “Steps need to be taken to enhance women’s access to financial services and economically empower women so they become active participants in building up the nation.”