Wahraat: A women’s collective for entrepreneurship

Poash is a start-up run by Bisma Wali and Uzma Matoo that aims to connect and encourage independent women entrepreneurs in Kashmir. The organisation was established in April 2018 with the commencement of Kashmir’s first gathering of female entrepreneurs. They were back with a similar event with a much larger response from women this time from the 5th to 8th of July. The latest event tagged “Wahraat” had stalls by women designers, artists, and businesspersons among others. The event included live workshops for artists, handicrafts and a discussion (baithak) by successful women entrepreneurs regarding their stories and the challenges women face when embarking on such a journey.

Poash uses digital marketing extensively to spread awareness about their events, existing women entrepreneurs and the schemes to support them. Their digital presence on Instagram connects women from around the world and supports young women by enabling a collaboration between established entrepreneurs and aspiring professionals in the field. One among many of Poash’s drives is to revive traditional handicrafts of the valley by connecting skilled but underprivileged women in the field who are often illiterate, with women who have already made a space for themselves in the market. The collective on the whole acts as a platform for women to come together and support each other through their endeavours.

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