Young Entrepreneurs

Fatima’s story

Aliza’s story

Usaid’s story

At just fifteen, Fatima is already part of a prize-winning entrepreneurial team, and one which is focused entirely on empowering other entrepreneurs – especially women. In rural Pakistan, formal jobs are in short supply. Traditional gender norms – including childcare and household responsibilities – make it particularly difficult for women to go out to work, so many work from home, running micro-businesses 

Inspired by their own experiences, when Aliza (16) and her friends took part in Enterprise Challenge Pakistan, they decided to focus on a mental health service for teenagers. Their business name, Istehkaam, is an Urdu word meaning ‘stability’.  ‘Mental health is such a taboo in our society,’ Aliza explains, ‘This is why Istehkaam was created, so we break this caustic taboo.’

Usaid (15) is a keen environmentalist, so when he took part in Enterprise Challenge Pakistan, it’s not surprising that his team’s business idea had a green angle – using an online platform to recycle and sell second-hand clothing from Pakistan.‘I came up with this idea from my experience of getting older,’ explains Usaid. ‘It’s an experience we all share. As you grow up, you grow out of your clothes, the sleeves get too