Women’s Economic Incubator

Objectives of Women’s Economic Incubator (WEI)

To facilitate of businesses led and owned by women, the PCSW plans to establish an economic incubator for women. The PCSW proposes a mixed operational modelincubator that will leverage existing facilities, training institutions, and microfinance and investor support, in the public and the private sector in Lahore and the province and also from the national level.

The model incubator will provide physical facilities and support services (office space, computers, internet, logistics and admin support) as well as technical guidance and leadership training. The incubator(s) will provide business and entrepreneurship training for 1 – 30 women-owned start-ups; it will also provide mentoring and leadership skills. The incubator(s) will provide access to services such as accountants and lawyers and to invaluable coaching and networking connections through the staff and other entrepreneurs at the incubator. It is expected that the lessons learned and demonstrated through this model will be shared widely and lead to a replication of similar incubator in other major towns and cities to support women entrepreneurs.

Location

The selected applicant firm shall develop and pilot the WEI for female entrepreneurs in: Lahore.

Target Population

The WEI will select women entrepreneurs who have an idea and looking for a platform or already have a business and are looking to scale.

Methodology for Selection

Firms will propose a brief methodology for Application and Selection Process of Startups for the incubators.

Access to Finance

Entrepreneurs require support for financial management. This includes financial modeling and, more importantly, access to finance. WEI team will be expected to develop strong partnerships with investors and VC firms. They will support in raising capital from Angel investors locally and globally (if possible). This is vital since investors can serve as mentors and advisers, helping to guide young businesses through their formative years.

Services for Start-ups

The Women’s Economic Incubator (WEI) is envisioned as a space that offers a range of support services to women entrepreneurs to enable them to develop their businesses, offer financial and legal support, as well as physical and technology amenities such as co-working spaces, Wi-Fi, fax, computers and printers. It will facilitate selected women entrepreneurs through online counselling, web based services as well as in person.

WEI will offer a range of services including business planning, support for registration as needed, access to finance, maintain business records, improve their business pitch and presentation for investors etc.

The WEI will offer information on relevant labour laws, the anti-harassment law, and prepare women to assimilate into a business environment with which they may not be familiar. The WEI will organize a panel of sector experts to support the work of the entrepreneurs as well as mentoring services. WEI will have a dedicated (rented or owned) building to provide these services.

Networking

The Incubator is envisioned as a hub with events, seminars, workshops. It will develop linkages for professional networking, both online and in person through events and sessions with key personnel in the industry. While every business is unique and has different needs, building the business through networking is always beneficial. Potential applicants will propose brief methodology for networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Child Care Center

Many women are unable to make the time commitments required of managing a business due to family responsibilities and caring for. The WEI will provide basic child care facility for women entrepreneurs who are selected to the incubator.

Linkages with Universities and Colleges:

WEI will develop active linkages with universities and colleges to disseminate information about services of WEI.