Making money online is the dream of every student, housewife, job seeker, and even the employed. The challenges of unemployment and rising inflation today are simply too great, and people are turning towards alternative income sources to meet them. Granted that making money through the internet is not everyone's piece of pie, but there are thousands of women now in Pakistan who, with the help of the internet, have built their own businesses from scratch while staying at home!
When it comes to making money or building a business online, we always emphasize on skill development. If you happened to catch our recent interview on national radio, you will know that, for us, entrepreneurship, is all about developing the right set of skills that are relevant to your business, coupled with the right marketing techniques that will help it grow.
Women often face problems when it comes to working at a job, or becoming entrepreneurs. These could be due to sociopolitical, cultural, religious, and other barriers. Hence, the internet provides the perfect solution to a majority of these problems.
How are women making money online?
We have talked at length about how you can earn money online by running a website, freelancing, and so on. But that is as far as internet-savvy users are concerned. What can people from non-technical backgrounds do to make a living online?
The internet puts the whole world at your fingertips. You can use it to market your skills and talents and become an entrepreneur, just like some 6,000 women from Pakistan who are now successfully marketing their products online.
Marketing and social media
As we've said time and again, for becoming successful online, you need to familiarize yourself with the various social media and marketing tools available. These fresh Pakistani women entrepreneurs learned digital marketing under the 'Women Entrepreneurship Development Program' organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and developed in response to the various challenges to women at an enterprise and institutional level.
Anyone from any background can take part in the program. Indeed, most of these entrepreneurs are from middle-income families, and looking to expand their businesses online to reach a wider audience.
Asma Kamran, a housewife who didn't even know how to properly use a computer before has learned to utilize the power of internet and social media, and has been able to treble profits from her home business in a short span of time.
She started her business from a small set-up at home, selling homemade snacks to nearby customers. Now, she has built into a complete home-business, and is called by family and friends as "Master Chef".
Social media also helps women overcome social barriers, as is the case with one Jabeen Siddiqui.
She now runs her own marble mosaic business.
Other women have found businesses of their own liking. Some have started their own online fashion brands, whereas others have set up jewelry and textile businesses, and report profits gains of more than 100%.
So, what are your plans for the future? Are you going to follow in the footsteps of these motivated ladies, or would you rather get a desk job? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
In honor of the International Women's Day tomorrow - 8th March 2014 - we dedicate this feature to all the women out there - women who are housewives or are working, and women who are - or want to be - entrepreneurs. Empowerment of women is progress for all.