Last summer, donors like you came together to stand budding entrepreneurs in Pakistan. In just two weeks, you raised over $7,500 on social media which was then matched by Unbridled Acts- for a total of $15,000 to begin implementing a Business Training Curriculum in Gilgit.
In October of 2018, our partner Sarah Ray of Yobel Market, helped launch the pilot course of this training to 8 women and 1 young man. This course was specifically designed for these emerging entrepreneurs in Pakistan or Central Asia who are ready and willing to take the leap of faith into business ownership, but are only lacking the knowledge required to plan, operate, and steward a business effectively.
The participants of this initial launch came from all backgrounds- Shia, Sunni, Ismaili, and Christian, and they all gathered together to share in peace and support of one another’s dreams. Each participant began by assessing their individual talents, passions, and skills, while also taking a realistic look at their assets in order to formulate a purposeful business idea. Interactive games, discussions, and activities helped to facilitate these conversations and create an environment of support, freedom, and community in which to grow and learn.
The participants of this initial launch came from all backgrounds- Shia, Sunni, Ismaili, and Christian, and they all gathered together to share in peace and support of one another’s dreams.
As the course continued, various tools and strategies were expanded upon to help each participate formulate a realistic business plan. Of the nine participants, five were able to conceptualize and create a new business idea and plan, ranging from an events planning and canopy rental service to a mechanic shop, a jeans outlet, a fast food restaurant and a women’s boutique. Three participants began with existing businesses that were able to be improved using their acquired skills in business planning, marketing, record keeping, budgeting, customer care, financial management, stewardship, pricing and ethics.
This training inspired me a lot to start a part time business, to make more income and fulfill my needs. We learned different skills: preparing to starting a business, what we need to do after beginning, what we need to do (to profit/grow). This training provided hope that if we are trusting in God we will prosper.” – Miss Neelum
This is only the beginning for these men and women, and only the beginning of the business training to be offered through Shining Light International. We believe that this training and capacity building will continue to encourage men and women from these marginalized communities to achieve their dreams of more sustainable futures. Their truly is “Hope for a Brighter Future” as we plan to offer this business training again in 2019 and continue to multiply it’s effects throughout northern Pakistan.
“I am truly delighted to have had the opportunity to witness the change that is coming to the nation of Pakistan through the unique, locally developed solutions offered by Shining Light International. I can only hope that the business training developed and funded in partnership with Unbridled Acts will continue to encourage men and women from marginalized communities to believe in their capacity and achieve their dreams of a more sustainable future.” – Sarah Ray