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February 14, 2016

Home-based female entrepreneurs showcase their talents


February 14, 2016

‘Women of Talent Festival’ draws a large crowd


As Karachi’s dwellers thought about the conundrum surrounding the celebration of the Valentine’s Day, Elan Women’s Social Club held its “Women of Talent Festival” at Palm Marquee on Saturday, attracting attendees, who, thanks to discounts, gladly bought V-Day goodies without thinking twice.

The club which caters to female entrepreneurs, especially those who are home-based, organises the festival every year.

Erum Munir, the driving force behind the club, shared that the main reason for holding such events was to give a welcoming boost to women whose products could not always directly reach the customers.

“Basically our group, the Elan Women’s Social Club, which has turned five, wanted to provide a platform to home-based female entrepreneurs working in isolation because neither do they go to work, nor have colleagues,” she explained.

“The club helps in providing a space to women where they can share ideas by meeting at various events ranging from auctions to lucky draws, training workshops and large-scale events like this where we come in contact with the public directly.”

Buzzing with visitors of all ages, the festival which was free for all and limited for families only saw a few men as well. The 120 stalls set up by women had a variety of goods ranging from apparel and crafts to food items.

“The turnout is incredible, so much so that it’s quite hard to move around easily,” said Munir.

“We have all kinds of attendees here and the best part is that even the stalls have been set up by people of all ages. Age is just a number here.”

While the food court was considerably crowded, some stalls wore a deserted look as a seller from Hyderabad who sold handmade items was not too pleased with the customers of the neighbouring city.

“The turnover was lukewarm because it’s a bit difficult to assure people that the work is genuinely handmade,” she explained.

However, the attendees did admire a stall boasting a sculpture of poet Raees Amrohvi which invited all for live sketching albeit at a price.

Some of the participants had also come from Lahore and Faisalabad and other cities in Punjab and were happy with the response.

Given that many women do not have access to retail outlets for the goods they produce at home such events provide an opportunity for them to showcase their work.

While vans may patrol the roads and ask people to steer clear of V-Day, the attendees happily bought greeting cards which combined with the sentiments as it is not every day that all crafts are available under one roof.

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