Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar
The Voice of Business Women Entrepreneurs
The Partner of First Choice for Information and Guidance
The Natural Choice of Business Support
Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar is located in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province (KPK). It was formally registered on August 10th, 2010 and on March 2nd, 2011 Chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Commerce and the head of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, conducted the inauguration ceremony. Sajida Zulfiqar leads Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar. Despite being a very new organization, the Chamber already has over 100 dues-paying members representing boutique stores, parlors, bazaar traders, as well as food, handicraft, and garment producers. Services offered include workshops and seminars on business practices and trade exhibitions.
Women entrepreneurs continue to face many challenges throughout Pakistan, including a lack of economic opportunities and the constraints of a traditionally patriarchal society. In Peshawar, those challenges have been compounded by severe flooding in 2010. The floods not only inflicted physical damage but also contributed to a deteriorated rule of law, making the business environment more difficult. Under these circumstances, opening a women’s chamber in Peshawar and getting women involved is a big accomplishment in itself.
The Peshawar chamber’s goal is to provide women a platform where they can learn and exchange business ideas, as well as gain relevant exposure that will help them expand their businesses and export their products. To that end, Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken member delegations to India and Dubai. In India, members witnessed a home-run factory producing soft drinks, processed food, and other goods. The Chamber now seeks to create a similar facility in Peshawar. In Dubai, Chamber members participated in several trade exhibitions.
Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar is also focused on broader issues, such as the need to standardize quality requirements for exports. The current lack of these standards undermines of the ability of women’s businesses to form lasting trade relationships with customers. When women-owned businesses send samples of their work to the Chamber to promote them for export, the sample goods are of high quality. However, subsequent shipments are often substandard and buyers reject them. That is not only bad for individual businesses, but also reflects poorly on WCCI.P. Another problem that the Chamber is working to address is the high level of informality among women-owned businesses. The Chamber has arranged free legal counsel to help its members process NTN-related documents.
The Chamber’s priorities going forward include providing better education and more economic opportunities for women. In particular, the Chamber also aims to create university clubs affiliated with it as a way to mobilize and involve young people in entrepreneurship. WCCIP understands that young women are its future and key driving force, since married or older women tend to be more reluctant to start a business or be active in business organizations.