October issue 2010
The LADIESFUND Entrepreneurship Conference held at Hotel Avari on September 25 was not only packed to capacity, it was overflowing with people of all ages. In fact, when there was no room to accommodate additional chairs, people were requested to come forward and sit on the floor, and many did.
The programme, conducted by Sidra Iqbal, was basically aimed at inspiring students to become entrepreneurs. It comprised two parts: the first part opened with a presentation by the GM Avari Towers, Karachi, Gordon James Gorman, who gave a short but lively briefing on the qualities of a successful entrepreneur and managed to keep the packed room interested with his witty comments. This was followed by a welcome address by Tara Uzra Dawood, CEO, Dawood Capital Management Ltd.
The first set of panelists were Amir Adnan (designer), Sameera Raja (curator) and Selina Rashid (PR consultant), who spoke on the basics of entrepreneurship and how to set up a business with limited capital, citing their own examples. After a question answer session with the three, the next set of panelists, comprising Muna Siddiqui (arts and craft shop owner), Muhammed Javed (biryani food chain proprietor) and Niilofer Saeed (restaurateur), were invited on stage.
Given the subject of their discussion, ‘Teething solutions and Scaling up,’ and the fact that the panelists spoke with equal ease in both Urdu and English, this session proved to be more interactive. The evening ended with a presentation of plaques to all the panelists. The chief guests for the two sessions were Shazia Marri, who appeared totally unprepared for a speech and ended up mostly praising the hotel, and Sharmila Farooqi who, by contrast, spoke well.
Avari’s GM Gorman, one of the two hosts of the conference, described it as “the best attended conference at Avari in the past five years.”
The writer is a freelance journalist based in Karachi. She also works at Hum television.