Forbes Magazine travels through Pakistan with Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz.
Meet Naureen Rizwan, one of the unsung heroes at Kashf Foundation, a pioneer in extending access to financial products to poor customers in Pakistan, particularly women.
Forbes Magazine travels through Pakistan with Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz.
Meet Naureen Rizwan, one of the unsung heroes at Kashf Foundation, a pioneer in extending access to financial products to poor customers in Pakistan, particularly women.
Pakistan: where hard-edged hope confronts a unique set of challenges
While Pakistan has experienced rapid economic development in recent years, approximately 66% of Pakistan’s 170 million people live on less than $2 a day. Pakistan’s challenge is how to address its citizens’ basic needs on a large scale.
A different face
Since 2002 we've been supporting companies serving low-income communities in new ways. Our investments span from affordable housing and microfinance to improving milk-yields and safe drinking water.
Million Lives Impacted
With dignity not dependence
Jobs created & supported
improving livelihoods and economies
in breakthrough innovations
Providing choice not charity
Community-owned hydro power solutions in rural Pakistan
Affordable, off-grid solar solutions in rural Pakistan
Ansaar Management Company
Building affordable housing for low-income customers in Pakistan.
Improving livestock productivity in Pakistan.
Financial services for low-income women in Pakistan.
Affordable drip irrigation for farmers in Pakistan.
National Rural Support Program (NRSP) Microfinance Bank
Financial services for rural communities in Pakistan.
Pharmagen Healthcare Ltd
Safe drinking water for the urban poor in Pakistan.
Housing for low-income customers in urban Pakistan.
Dispatch from Pakistan: Hope in Place of Fear
Four Emerging Leaders Building the Future of Pakistan
Discussing Investment Philosophy with Zaffar Khan
Meet the Team in Pakistan
Acumen opened its Karachi office in 2006. Our team brings a combination of skills from across investing, running private companies, and non-profits. They’re supported by a community of local Advisors and supporters who work with us to support our companies and invest in local leadership, uniquely positioning Acumen in Pakistan to find opportunities that are building real hope for the country and its future. See if we’re hiring.
“Unlike typical philanthropic models which tend to just alleviate social problems, Acumen goes a step further by investing in viable and sustainable solutions and the people brave enough to carry them out.” [READ MORE]
Farwah works at Acumen Pakistan as a Fellows Associate. She completed her Bachelors in Social Sciences with a major in Anthropology and Sociology from Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2013. Before joining Acumen Farwah was working on a sustainability and communications based project at Unilever Pakistan.
“Acumen’s model is about making markets work for the BoP, which is the segment often most severely affected by market failures in the developing world.” [READ MORE]
As Pakistan Portfolio Associate, Khubaib Siddiqui is responsible for managing existing investments and supporting portfolio growth in the Energy sector. Khubaib has over two years of experience in capital markets and corporate and investment banking. He has previously worked as an Equity Trader in the Treasury and Capital Markets Group of United Bank Limited where he was responsible for managing a short-term equity trading portfolio. He has also had a brief stint as a Relationship Manager in the Corporate and Investment Banking Group of Habib Bank Limited. Khubaib holds an MA in Economics from Duke University and a BSc (Hons.) in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences.
“Acumen is an organization with a soul. It encourages intellectual curiosity and there is space for an active dialogue on what works for the poor and what does not.” [READ MORE]
Noor joined Acumen in 2007. Since joining Noor has been working on the growth of Acumen’s Agriculture Portfolio. He co-leads Acumen’s efforts in the Agriculture sector globally and is responsible for leading our Agriculture work in Pakistan. In addition to his work in Agriculture, Noor also leads Acumen Pakistan’s Energy and Water Portfolios. Before joining Acumen, Noor served as a consultant for the World Bank, where he studied the socio-economic impact of environmental degradation in the province of Punjab. Previously, he worked as a business development consultant for a number of multinationals and private enterprises. He handled projects involving feasibility studies and financial projection analyses. He also worked as Manager Business Development and Manager Projects at Microtech Industries, an engineering and telecom multinational. Immediately after graduation he had also served as a Research Analyst with Dr. Salman Shah (a renowned Finance expert and Pakistan’s ex-Finance Advisor for the Federal Government) on a number of research papers for PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency). He holds a Bachelor degree with Honors, in Economics and Computer Sciences from Lahore University of Management Sciences.
T:+92 42 3586 1240
“At Acumen we recognize that the right way is almost always harder but always worth striving towards; having the gravitas and persistence to do so makes the real difference” [READ MORE]
Saima has been working joined the Acumen, Pakistan office in April 2009, and is currently managing the Pakistan Fellows Program. Saima is responsible for recruitment, training and coaching of Fellows with an aim towards building the next generation of social change leaders for Pakistan. Prior to this, Saima served as Business Manager, where she was mainly focused on developing and managing Acumen’s Health and Education Portfolio. Before joining Acumen, Saima worked as CEO and Managing Partner of The Review Private Limited, a company formed to acquire and run a test prep franchise, The Princeton Review. Before making this entrepreneurial shift, Saima worked for six years in the financial sector; her last assignment was at Global Securities, a brokerage firm, where she worked as Senior Associate, Corporate Finance. Saima holds an MBA from Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Syed Umair Hussain
“I believe that charity is not a permanent solution to poverty in Pakistan and Acumen’s business-oriented model to tackle poverty in Pakistan is the right approach.” [READ MORE]
As Senior Associate for Finance & Operations in Pakistan, Syed Umair Hussain is responsible for coordinating all aspects of financial management, accounting, book-keeping, Treasury management, Investment Accounting and Office administration. He was also actively involved in HR issues of Acumen Pakistan. Before joining Acumen, S. Umair Hussain worked as an Accounts Officer at Interglobe Commerce Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, a large oil storage facilities and pipeline construction company, where he was responsible for various accounting and finance matters, including costing and Internal Audit of oil refineries projects. He has also worked as Assistant Accountant at Callmate Telips (Pvt) Ltd, a private telecom company in Pakistan. Umair holds an MBA in Finance and Accounts from Preston Institute of Management Science and Technology and is currently pursuing his ACMA from the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan.
T:+92 21 3584 6430 32 x 101
“Acumen tackles the real problem of poverty, which is less about not having enough money and more about not having a choice.” [READ MORE]
As Pakistan Portfolio Associate, Hammad Umer is responsible for managing existing investments and for originating and analyzing new opportunities in the Health and Education sectors. Hammad has over five years of investment banking and corporate banking experience. He has previously worked as an Analyst for the Investment Banking Division of KASB – a local affiliate of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. At KASB, Hammad was responsible for the origination and execution of M&A, DCM and corporate restructuring deals in a range of sectors including banking, real estate and pharmaceuticals. He also had a short stint as Associate Portfolio Manager for The Resource Group before joining Acumen. Hammad holds a BSc. (Hons.) in Economics from the University of London (International Programme) and is also the Karachi City Coordinator for Mensa Pakistan.
T:+92 21 584 6430 x 109
“Accelerating the rate of innovation enabled by Acumen’s commitment to developing companies, leaders and ideas to focus on lifting the lives of the poor will enable our vision of a more inclusive and empowered world.” [READ MORE]
“We are enabling a world where all of humanity reaches its full potential, is happy.” Naeem Zamindar is a results-driven leader with experience in venture capital, entrepreneurship, finance, operations, general management, in public and private companies. He is inspired to create a happier world and has a great track record of envisioning the future, transformational leadership, leveraging innovation and technology, and fostering collaborations to enable others to consistently deliver strong business results. As the Pakistan Country Director of Acumen, he is excited about the opportunity to invest and build social enterprises/entrepreneurs that will bring about a transformative change in the way the world tackles poverty.
Previously, as the CEO of Wateen, he turned around Pakistan’s leading communications and cloud services provider, where he restructured and refocused the company, and invested in high growth areas such as mobile financial services. He was on the founding team of Mobilink, which has become one of the most successful companies in Pakistan. He left Mobilink to go do his MBA at INSEAD where his team won the European Business Plan Competition and started his venture funded social networking startup (Facebook before its time). His company became a casualty of the dotcom bust in the year 2000 after which he moved to the Silicon Valley to become a venture capitalist with Intel Capital, to invest and build successful expotential growth innovative companies. He returned to Pakistan in early 2004 to startup a successful non-profit venture called the Art of Living, an organization enabling the self-actualization of human potential for happiness. After the Art of Living started getting momentum and did not require his full time attention, he returned to Mobilink to lead the Strategy, Program Management Office and Business Development functions. He was a part of the team that massively scaled mobile users from around 2 million to 32 million within 5 years and started up and launched the broadband business division.
He is actively involved in the development of entrepreneurship as the current President of The Indus Entrepreneurs Lahore chapter and sits on the Advisory Board’s of The Center for Entrepreneurial Development, the business incubators Plan9 and Nest I/O, the leadership development organization AIESEC, and the Punjab Vocational Training Council.
“It's inspiring to work with Acumen because it constantly takes risks in order to support those brave entrepreneurs that are striving to create sustainable social businesses.” [READ MORE]
As a Portfolio Analyst, Ruqayya is responsible for developing and managing Acumen’s investment portfolio across the microfinance, education and housing sectors. Prior to this role, Ruqayya supported the recruitment and selection process for the Acumen Pakistan Fellows Program. Before joining Acumen, Ruqayya held internships at Engro Foods Limited, Barclays Bank PLC, GlaxoSmithKline and BRAC.
Ruqayya graduated with a BSc in Economics from Duke University in May 2013.
“The concept of Acumen 'Not simply make grants, but invest in entrepreneurs who have the capability to bring sustainable solution to problems of poverty' very much impressed me.” [READ MORE]
Saleem has over 30 years of experience as Personal Secretary in different organizations. Prior to joining Acumen Pakistan he has worked as Assistant Vice President, Corporate Secretarial to CEO of BMA Capital Management Limited for 18 years. He was also hold the additional charge of Head of Administration at BMA Capital. Saleem was responsible for all types of secretarial job and supervision of Administration Department at BMA Capital.
Saleem holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Karachi, Pakistan.
“All of us have a right to basic services. Acumen invests in businesses that strive to make this possible.” [READ MORE]
Yusra has been Acumen Pakistan’s Counsel for over 5 years. Prior to joining, she worked with Mandviwalla & Zafar where she represented various banks and public/private sector companies on diverse deals which included setting up and licensing various Banks, Islamic banks, Microfinance banks as well as undertaking mergers and acquisitions. Yusra holds a BA Honors in Economics and Politics from SOAS (University of London), a CPE from BPP Law School, a BVC from Inns Court School of Law. Yusra is a Barrister-at-Law and a member of the Honorable Society of Lincolns Inn.
T:+92 21 583 4298 x 103
As a part of their nine-month field placement, Global Fellows work with one of our investee companies. These Fellows are currently gaining on-the-ground experience in Pakistan.
“Asim will work in Bahawalpur City, Pakistan with National Rural Support Program Microfinance Bank (NRSP Bank), which supplies financial services for rural communities in...” [READ MORE]
Asim will work in Bahawalpur City, Pakistan with National Rural Support Program Microfinance Bank (NRSP Bank), which supplies financial services for rural communities in Pakistan. Asim is from the UK and has worked for Google in the UAE and Switzerland. He founded a consultancy business in South Africa, providing design and brand consultancy for startups. Asim holds a BSc in Art, Design, and New Web Technology from the University of East London.
“Hope is real. Local solutions can be found with patience.” [READ MORE]
Jay is working in Lahore, Pakistan with Pharmagen Healthcare, which supplies safe, clean and affordable drinking water to low-income residents. Jay is developing a marketing and sales strategy for the company’s water division with the goal of reaching the bottom of the pyramid. Jay is from the Philippines and has worked with the Philippine government in the Presidential Communications Operations Office as New Media Head, with Procter & Gamble, and with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. Jay is also the Co-Founder of the Yellow Boat Project. Jay holds a B.S. in Commerce from Ateneo de Davao University.
“Passionate about harnessing humanity’s capacity for innovation in tackling today’s most pressing social challenges, Henry brings a unique set of business building skills...” [READ MORE]
Passionate about harnessing humanity’s capacity for innovation in tackling today’s most pressing social challenges, Henry brings a unique set of business building skills to the Global Fellows Program. He launched two tech enterprises before the age of 20, and, as a Chartered Accountant, served as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations practice in Vancouver, Canada. Over the past five years, Henry has applied his business skills to address critical development challenges in energy, consumer business, and the public sector. Most recently, Henry completed a half-year sabbatical in India with Dasra, where he provided critical support to emerging social entrepreneurs.
Henry will spend his Fellowship with housing investee AMC in Lahore, Pakistan.
Mohammad Umar Ashfaq
“Umar will work in Lahore, Pakistan with Pharmagen, which provides safe drinking water for the urban poor in Pakistan. Umar is from Pakistan and has worked as a Senior Analyst...” [READ MORE]
Umar will work in Lahore, Pakistan with Pharmagen, which provides safe drinking water for the urban poor in Pakistan. Umar is from Pakistan and has worked as a Senior Analyst at Ominvest in Oman. Previously, Umar worked as a Senior Research Analyst at Lakson Investments in Pakistan. He holds a BSc in Math and Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Acumen’s Pakistan Fellows Program launched in 2012. These Fellows are the emerging social impact leaders of Pakistan.
“Abid is the President of Nawabshah Disability Forum” [READ MORE]
Abid is the President of Nawabshah Disability Forum (NDF), an NGO working for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. One of the projects of NDF is ‘The Empowerment Center of Women with Disabilities’, which has developed vocational skills in more than 500 vulnerable people. Abid is from Nawabshah and holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Shah Abdul Latif University.
“Adnan is the Founder and CEO of IdeaCentricity” [READ MORE]
Adnan is the Founder and CEO of IdeaCentricity, an organization dedicated to ideas for social impact with focus on poverty alleviation. One of IdeaCentricity’s projects is Odd Jobber, a convenient market place for low-income workers that uses the mobile phone network to match workers with jobs based on their proximity to the service request point and service ratings. Adnan is from Lahore and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from LUMS.
Asad Ali Shah
“As someone living with a polio-induced illness, Asad has a deep level of empathy and commitment to social work. This motivation led him to his position at Save The Children...” [READ MORE]
As someone living with a polio-induced illness, Asad has a deep level of empathy and commitment to social work. This motivation led him to his position at Save The Children Quetta Program Office, where he conducts monitoring and evaluation for projects and ensures accountability across the organization’s work. The projects include providing food, security and livelihood, education, child protection and technical vocational trainings to Afghan refugees. Hailing from Quetta, he recently graduated from the University of Baluchistan with a master’s degree in international relations.
“Asad is the founder of Civic Face Pakistan, an organization that spreads awareness about democracy through research, advocacy and training. Asad also works as the Public Relations...” [READ MORE]
Asad is the founder of Civic Face Pakistan, an organization that spreads awareness about democracy through research, advocacy and training. Asad also works as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Islamabad Chapter of Global Zero, which advocates for a nuclear-free world. Asad holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of the Punjab and is pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
“Daniyal is the CEO of KaroKuc” [READ MORE]
Daniyal is the CEO of KaroKuch, a studio creating media content addressing social issues and creating positive narratives in Pakistan. KaroKuch most recently created an animated series by the name of Quaid se Baatain, designed to help instill positive civic values within Pakistanis. Daniyal is from Lahore and holds an MBA from INSEAD with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
“Fahad is a Project Manager at Karachi Relief Trust” [READ MORE]
Fahad is a Project Manager at Karachi Relief Trust, a disaster relief organization that has helped more than 55,000 people with emergency aid & housed almost 12,000 in sustainable housing since 2010. Fahad has lead teams in construction, clean water, infrastructure development, and school rebuilding projects. Fahad is from Karachi and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Karachi.
Habib Ur Rahman
“Habib works at Adam Smith International (DFID) which, through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Support Program, provides technical assistance to the province's government...” [READ MORE]
Habib works at Adam Smith International (DFID) which, through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Support Program, provides technical assistance to the province’s government to support the delivery of its primary and secondary education programs. Habib is involved in the Gender and Community Development component, which trains parent-teacher councils to develop school plans to increase enrollment and education quality. Habib belongs to Kurram Agency and holds master’s degrees in Pakistan studies and political science from the University of Peshawar.
“Imran is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rabtt” [READ MORE]
Imran is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rabtt, which connects with students from low-cost schools through camps and workshops and works to enhance their critical thinking, tolerance and creative abilities. Rabtt has reached 800 students and has engaged 130 volunteer instructors so far. Imran lives in Lahore and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
“Jamshaid is the Manager Projects at Ansaar Management Company” [READ MORE]
Jamshaid is the Manager Projects at Ansaar Management Company (AMC), a social enterprise taking on the challenge of developing low-income housing in Pakistan. Jamshaid plays a critical role in all aspects of AMC projects from proposal development and land acquisition to project implementation and community development. Jamshaid is from Gujranwala and holds a Master’s degree in Finance & Accounting from Preston Institute of Management Sciences And Technology.
“Maira is the Project Lead at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan for The Education Support Services and Education Financing Intervention. The project provides and...” [READ MORE]
Maira is the Project Lead at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan for The Education Support Services and Education Financing Intervention. The project provides and tests solutions for improving the quality of education in low-fee private schools. Maira is responsible for assisting in the design and implementation of the project in different areas in Punjab. A resident of Lahore, she is also a Fulbright Scholar from Columbia University with a master’s degree in public administration.
“Mashall is the Founder and Director of Operations of Reading Room Project” [READ MORE]
Mashall is the Founder and Director of Operations of Reading Room Project (RRP), which uses the Internet and blended learning to teach Pakistani low-income students how to self-learn. RRP just finished its one-year pilot in February 2014 where 30 students completed a 12-month intensive program in Digital Literacy, Mathematics and English. Mashall is from Karachi and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Mohammad Kamran Awan
“Kamran left a promising career in the corporate banking sector to join Soon Valley Development Program (SVDP) in Khushab. SVDP promotes community development through grant-based...” [READ MORE]
Kamran left a promising career in the corporate banking sector to join Soon Valley Development Program (SVDP) in Khushab. SVDP promotes community development through grant-based interventions and microfinance programs focused on sectors such as agriculture, livestock and renewable energy. Kamran holds a master’s degree in business education and economics from the University of the Punjab and a diploma in banking and finance from the Institute of Bankers Pakistan.
“Muhammad Ali is an Ashoka Fellow and Founder & Executive Director of Roshni Helpline” [READ MORE]
Muhammad Ali is an Ashoka Fellow and Founder & Executive Director of Roshni Helpline, which focuses on the tracing, reunification and rehabilitation of missing children in Sindh. He has established Pakistan’s 1st helpline for missing children “1138”. Since establishing Roshni Helpline in 2007, Muhammad Ali has served more than 2,000 cases of missing and exploited children. Muhammad Ali is from Karachi and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Karachi.
Muhammad Saeed Khan
“The fellowship provided me an opportunity to get to know some talented young people with creative ideas about how to solve problems of the marginalized communities of Pakistan.” [READ MORE]
Muhammad Saeed is the Chief Executive at Raabta Consultants, which develops low-tech communication systems for humanitarian and development organizations to increase two-way engagement. These systems have been used to send disaster warnings to over 25,000 individuals in hard-to-reach areas, as well as to send security updates to hundreds of journalists. Muhammad Saeed has experience in various sectors including academia, taxation, public health, gender justice, governance reforms, univeral primary education, adult literacy, post disaster recovery and communications. Muhammad Saeed is from Frontier Regions of Bannu (FATA). He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Punjab and has remained a research scholar at University Science Malaysia.
“Rabia is the Managing Director of SunShine.” [READ MORE]
Rabia is the Managing Director of SunShine, which designs and implements teacher training programs and provides educational equipment to schools. SunShine has grown from serving 20 children to over 900 students in Punjab in only a few years. Rabia has experience in education and community development and has worked with various organizations like Kashf Foundation and CARE Foundation. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Punjab and a Master’s degree in Development Studies from University of New South Wales, Australia. Rabia is originally from Dandot, a village in the Chakwal District of Punjab, and now lives in Lahore.
“Salma works as the Director of Operations and Human Resources at Rabtt, which engages with students from public and low-cost private schools to improve their critical thinking,...” [READ MORE]
Salma works as the Director of Operations and Human Resources at Rabtt, which engages with students from public and low-cost private schools to improve their critical thinking, creativity, confidence and empathy skills. The idea behind the organization is to connect with students at a human level; Rabtt means “the connection.” At Rabtt, Salma implements the summer camps and follow-up workshops, and manages the Rabtt Fellowship Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from LUMS.
Samia Razaq Khan
“Samia jointly heads the Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab at the Information Technology University in Lahore. At the Lab, Samia focuses on creating medical technologies...” [READ MORE]
Samia jointly heads the Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab at the Information Technology University in Lahore. At the Lab, Samia focuses on creating medical technologies to improve mother and child health in underserved communities. She was honored with the ‘best paper’ award at the Computer Human Interaction conference for her work on speech interfaces for low-literate users. She holds a master’s degree in computer science from LUMS.
“Sarah is the Founder and Director of LettuceBee Kids” [READ MORE]
Sarah is the Founder and Director of LettuceBee Kids, which is developing self-sustaining entrepreneurial solutions to reintegrate street-children back into society. Through art therapy sessions and exhibitions, LettuceBee Kids has directly impacted more than 100 children. Sarah is from Islamabad, is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, where she was the recipient of the Award of Excellence.
“Shahab works at Justice Project Pakistan, an organization that provides pro-bono legal and investigative services to vulnerable prisoners in the Pakistani justice system,...” [READ MORE]
Shahab works at Justice Project Pakistan, an organization that provides pro-bono legal and investigative services to vulnerable prisoners in the Pakistani justice system, particularly those who face the death penalty, have mental illness and are the victims of police torture and the “War on Terror.” At the organization, Shahab heads the Communications team, which oversees outreach, public relations and advocacy activities. He is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management at Iqra University in Islamabad.
“Shahzad is the founder of Shades Pakistan, a student-run organization that provides a leadership platform to students in underprivileged areas of interior Sindh.The organization...” [READ MORE]
Shahzad is the founder of Shades Pakistan, a student-run organization that provides a leadership platform to students in underprivileged areas of interior Sindh.The organization is currently incorporated within the RETO Foundation, a nonprofit Shahzad co-founded that aims to make opportunities visible in the rural areas through education. Shahzad is working as an Assistant Manager at the DFID project Education Fund for Sindh. He was a National Outreach Scholar from Tando Jam at the Lahore University of Management Sciences with a major in finance and accounting.
“Shoaib is the founder and director of The Little Art, a nonprofit based in Lahore that uses art to cultivate positive social values in children and young adults through innovative...” [READ MORE]
Shoaib is the founder and director of The Little Art, a nonprofit based in Lahore that uses art to cultivate positive social values in children and young adults through innovative learning opportunities. Shoaib also founded the Lahore International Children’s Film Festival, which is held annually in various cities across the country. He is an Asia21 Fellow and has a post-graduate degree from DeVos Institute of Arts Management and a diploma in international development from East Side Institute NY.
“Sumaira is a Program Manager with the Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT).” [READ MORE]
Sumaira is a Program Manager with the Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT) where she manages a solid waste management project called e-Guard. e-Guard operates in 6 cities throughout Pakistan and is in 3,000 households. Sumaira has experience across many issue areas including microcredit, conservation, and education. Sumaira is from Rawalpindi and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Punjab University.
Syed Usman Hamdani
“Usman works as Assistant Director and Associate Research Fellow at the Human Development Research Foundation’s FaNs for Kids Project, a family network designed to improve...” [READ MORE]
Usman works as Assistant Director and Associate Research Fellow at the Human Development Research Foundation’s FaNs for Kids Project, a family network designed to improve outcomes in children with chronic brain disorders. The project uses an innovative model of service delivery that empowers mothers in remote villages in Pakistan through eHealth- and mHealth-assisted training and supervision. Based in Islamabad, he is also pursuing his Ph.D from the University of Liverpool.
“Tabinda works for the Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities (NOWPDP), a nonprofit that provides a common platform for all disability organizations...” [READ MORE]
Tabinda works for the Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities (NOWPDP), a nonprofit that provides a common platform for all disability organizations in Pakistan. She is the Project Manager of HeARTwork, an NOWPDP initiative that empowers people with disabilities through the development of craftsmanship skills and craft promotion. Since 2012, HeARTwork has trained 174 students in paper-making, patchwork, textile design and screen-printing. Tabinda resides in Karachi and has a Bachelor of Business Administration from SZABIST.
“Usman is the Executive Director of the M.H.Sufi Foundation” [READ MORE]
Usman is the Executive Director of the M.H.Sufi Foundation, a non-profit organization working to develop a network of schools that promote and provide quality education to rural areas of Pakistan. The Foundation currently has 12 schools in the district of Hafizabad, which has 4,000 students and 250 teachers. The Foundation plans to develop a total of 25 schools in the district which at full capacity would have 30,000 students. Usman is from Lahore and holds a bachelors degree in Economics from Queens University, Canada.
“Zeba is the Regional Program Director of DI” [READ MORE]
Zeba is the Regional Program Director of DIL (Developments in Literacy), which empowers marginalized communities by providing their children’s, especially girls’, access to quality education. Zeba oversees DIL’s operations across in Sindh and Balochistan, reaching approximately 5,000 students. Zeba is from Karachi and holds a Master’s degree in French Language and Literature from California State University.
“Abubakr is the Chief Coordinator of Akhuwat.” [READ MORE]
Abubakr is the Chief Coordinator of Akhuwat, which provides interest-free microfinance services with a sustainable approach to development. Akhuwat has disbursed over PKR 3.5 billion (about USD 35 million) in loans, benefiting more than 250,000 families across over 85 cities. Akhuwat has a recovery percentage of 99.85%. Abubakr has a diverse set of experiences across a number of fields including banking, agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare. He is from Lahore and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Western Michigan University.
“Ahmad is the Coordinator for the Global Citizen Corps (GCC) Youth Leadership Program.” [READ MORE]
Ahmad is the Coordinator for the Global Citizen Corps (GCC) Youth Leadership Program in the Swat District, which inspires and equips an expanding international network of young leaders to take informed actions to build secure, productive and just communities. GCC has engaged 4,200 youth through trainings, peer education, lesson deliveries and social activism. Ahmad is from Swat and has a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Peshawar.
“Asad is the Co-Fonder and Managing Director of the Social Innovation Desk.” [READ MORE]
Asad is the Co-Fonder and Managing Director of the Social Innovation Desk, which tackles social justice and poverty issues through social enterprise incubation and advocacy. In addition to providing strategic development and outreach support to social enterprises, the Social Innovation Desk’s work also engages with youth, academia, government, and the private sector. Asad is also the Co-Founder of the Literary Pakistan, an initiative that provides an alternate, critical voice from Pakistan that reaches 5,000 young Pakistanis and has a team of over 100 people across three continents. Asad lives in Lahore and holds a Bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences from the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
“Asim is the Director of the Technology for the People Initiative (TPI).” [READ MORE]
Asim is the Director of the Technology for the People Initiative (TPI), which develops technology solutions to improve service delivery in the public sector. TPI works with the police and judiciary on improving their internal processes through technology, such as crime maps. Asim also works for the World Bank on promoting governance reform using information technology, such as using feedback to reduce corruption. In the past, Asim has organized TEDxLahore and also co-founded SMSall.pk, Pakistan’s first group SMS network. Asim is from Lahore and holds a Bachelor’s degree of Science from LUMS with major in Computer Science.
“Fahad is a Project Manager with Basic Education and Employable Skills Training” [READ MORE]
Fahad is a Project Manager with Basic Education and Employable Skills Training (BEST), where he is managing the FATA Livelihood Project. His project works to enhance the capacity of the locals through the promotion of a resilient and sustainable livelihood approach. Fahad is from Peshawar and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering from UET, Peshawar and is pursuing Masters in Development Studies from Institute of Management Studies, Peshawar.
“Faiqa works in the Agricultural Credit and Microfinance Department at the State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi. As a policy analyst, she develops national policies and initiatives...” [READ MORE]
Faiqa works in the Agricultural Credit and Microfinance Department at the State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi. As a policy analyst, she develops national policies and initiatives to increase access to banking services for the financially excluded, low-income masses of Pakistan. Currently, she is focused on developing new channels for branchless banking such as mobile wallets for financial inclusion. Faiqa holds a Master of Business Administration in Banking and Finance from Lahore School of Economics.
Imran Nafees Siddiqui
“Imran is the leader of a number of organizations including Dugdugi.” [READ MORE]
Imran is the leader of a number of organizations including Dugdugi, which use the power of art for social development. He uses various mediums such as visual art, theatre, or photography and works with communities to support creative expression and empowerment. Imran’s creative projects over the last 5 years focus on empowering people who are facing life hardships to achieve self-awareness to become their best selves. Imran is based in Lahore, holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Karachi, and is working to launch a new project called Khayal, a school for creative empowerment.
“Isfundiar is the Program Director of the Imran Khan Foundation (IKF).” [READ MORE]
Isfundiar is the Program Director of the Imran Khan Foundation (IKF), which was established in 2010 to serve Pakistan’s most needy populations in the post-disaster environment. Over 1 million people have been impacted by IKF through the provision of food, medicine, shelter, the restoration of farmland, and the reconstruction of homes. Isfundiar has 10 years of experience across various sectors, has worked in banking, sales, and marketing, and is the Founder of Flat World Media, a video content producer that documents the work of NGOs operating in Pakistan. Isfundiar was born in the US, grew up in Karachi, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of the Punjab.
“Khawaja is the CEO of Tourplanner.pk” [READ MORE]
Khawaja is the CEO of Tourplanner.pk, a start-up aiming to brand and develop Kashmir as a tourist destination in order to boost the local economy. Tourplanner.pk has been viewed by over 30,000 internet users in Pakistan and has been joined by over 100 hotel vendors. Khawaja is from Muzaffarabad and holds an MBA in Management from the IBA, Karachi.
Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed
“Maryam is the Director of the Social Innovation Lab at LUMS” [READ MORE]
Maryam is the Director of the Social Innovation Lab at LUMS, which houses a Social Enterprise incubator called ‘The Hatchery’ and also offers courses on social justice, social innovation, human centered design and social enterprise. Additionally, Maryam co-founded a magazine and platform called ‘Literaty Pakistan.’ Maryam lives in Lahore and holds a LL.M. degree from University of California, Berkeley.
“Mohammad Ahsan is the Executive Director of Rural Development Project” [READ MORE]
Mohammad Ahsan is the Executive Director of Rural Development Project (RDP), which aims to improve the socio-economic conditions of poor and disaster affected communities and empower them through sustainable agriculture and livestock management practices. Ahsan is currently working to develop a “Model Livestock Resource Center” (MLRC) to address food security problems in KPK. He is from Haripur and holds a Master’s degree in International Intercultural Management from Vermont, USA.
“Mohammad is a Director at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP).” [READ MORE]
Mohammad is a Director at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP), where he is working to establish University of Community Development at Quetta, Balochistan. Over the last 14 years, IDSP has trained 6,000 youth of Balochistan in social, economic, and political development. Mohammad is from the Loralai District of Balochistan and holds a Master’s degree in Political Studies from Quid-i-Azam University.
“After growing up in a slum in Lahore where he struggled to educate himself, Sabir founded Slumabad, which empowers slum dwellers through education, healthcare services and...” [READ MORE]
After growing up in a slum in Lahore where he struggled to educate himself, Sabir founded Slumabad, which empowers slum dwellers through education, healthcare services and employment opportunities. He is a 2012 Fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Emerging Leaders of Pakistan, one of the Swedish Institute’s 2013 Young Connectors of the Future Programme and also a 2013 DO School Fellow. Sabir holds a degree in management accountancy from CIMA.
“Naeem is the Founder and CEO of Frontier Rural Development Program” [READ MORE]
Naeem is the Founder and CEO of Frontier Rural Development Program (FRDP), which aims to increase awareness on women’s rights. FRDP has conducted seminars to educate students in Karak, Bannu and Lakki Marwat on their legal rights in fighting violence against women. In addition, FRDP works to protect the rights of children. The NGO also conducted a campaign to spread the word on women’s voting rights during the 2013 election. Naeem is from Peshawar and holds a Master’s degree in History from Quaid-e-Azam University.
“Safdar is a Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP).” [READ MORE]
Safdar is a Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP), where he is working to establish a University of Community Development at Quetta, Balochistan. Through this university, Safdar and IDSP hope to impact 1 million people by supporting the development of businesses that thrive on green and ecological friendly technologies. Safdar has worked with IDSP for over 10 years on projects ranging from traditional architecture, organic farming, solar and wind energy, biogas, water conservation, and recycling. Safdar is from Mastung District and holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Al-Khair University Peshawar.
“Sameen is the Project Manager of Zara Sochiye.” [READ MORE]
Sameen is the Project Manager of Zara Sochiye, which is a media campaign aiming to establish education as a primary issue in Pakistani politics. By highlighting the most pressing problems that affect learning in government schools, the campaign aims to create political will and an enabling environment for meaningful education reforms. Sameen has experience working on economic development issues with organizations like the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and the Kashf Foundation. Sameen is based in Karachi, and holds an MPA in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School.
“Samira is the Coordination Officer for the 14 schools of the Baacha Khan Schools System in Peshawar. The organization aims to provide quality education to undeserved communities...” [READ MORE]
Samira is the Coordination Officer for the 14 schools of the Baacha Khan Schools System in Peshawar. The organization aims to provide quality education to undeserved communities by establishing schools where creative and cognitive abilities are emphasized in learning. It also provides leadership training to youth, enabling them to contribute to the betterment of society. Samira is pursuing a master’s degree in development studies from the Institute of Management Sciences.
“Shafqat has been Managing Director at Bright Vision in Haripur for the past 12 years. He is currently working on a technology-based, student-centered information and communications...” [READ MORE]
Shafqat has been Managing Director at Bright Vision in Haripur for the past 12 years. He is currently working on a technology-based, student-centered information and communications project, which uses digital tools to provide low-cost education and train parents and teachers as active partners in the education process. Shafqat is also involved in the Private Education Network and Rural Development Project, is a 2010 LEAD Fellow and is pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Education from Hazara University.
“Shahid is the Founder of Interfaith Youth in Action (IYA).” [READ MORE]
Shahid is the Founder of Interfaith Youth in Action (IYA), which engages young people in interfaith dialogues to discuss issues like extremism and religious conflicts. IYA has trained over 600 young people and domestic women workers in interfaith issues. He has worked with Pax Romana ICMICA to develop programs for Christian communities living in Pakistan, and with the Pakistan Telecommunications Company. Shahid is from Lahore and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Math and Economics from Punjab University.
“Shamim works for the Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP). The organization empowers rural communities in Tharparkar, Umerkot, Dadu and Jamshoro districts of Sindh to...” [READ MORE]
Shamim works for the Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP). The organization empowers rural communities in Tharparkar, Umerkot, Dadu and Jamshoro districts of Sindh to secure their rights by developing programs that give them control over their resources and foster sustainable development. At TRDP, Shamim helps rural women generate income through skills-based training and access to microcredit. She is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from Sindh University.
“Sidra is the founder and co-CEO of Markhor, an online fashion brand that works with indigenous craftsmen to make handcrafted leather shoes and sell them in international markets...” [READ MORE]
Sidra is the founder and co-CEO of Markhor, an online fashion brand that works with indigenous craftsmen to make handcrafted leather shoes and sell them in international markets in over 17 countries. Markhor recently launched a Kickstarter campaign that drew $107,286 from 506 backers, one of the largest amounts ever raised on the platform by a Pakistani company. Originally from Okara, Sidra is based in Lahore and holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of the Punjab.
“Surkhab is the Chief Operating Officer of PAKSBAB.” [READ MORE]
Surkhab is the Chief Operating Officer of PAKSBAB, which offers innovative natural building solutions using local materials and labor to provide affordable yet high-impact housing in Pakistan. Since 2006, PAKSBAB has trained 70 people and built 40 low-cost, energy-efficient, and disaster-resistant homes in northern Pakistan. Surkhab has experience in community development and has worked with BEST/UNHCR and Dosti Welfare Organization doing monitoring and evaluation, disaster relief in earthquakre affected areas, and facilitating training sessions. Surkhab is from Abbottabad and hols a Master’s degree in Development Studies from COMCAST Abbottabad.
Syed Zaid Bin Rashid
“Due to his deep interest in social impact, Zaid left his role in the sales division of Engro to pursue his current position at the Engro Foundation. The focus of the Engro...” [READ MORE]
Due to his deep interest in social impact, Zaid left his role in the sales division of Engro to pursue his current position at the Engro Foundation. The focus of the Engro Foundation is to make the value chains of Engro, an energy and agri-input company, more inclusive through projects that focus on capacity building and skills development of local communities, suppliers, service-providers and consumers. At Engro Foundation, Zaid is responsible for developing new projects, fundraising and managing the foundation’s existing portfolio of investments. He resides in Karachi and is pursuing an Executive MBA at IBA.
“Tahir is the co-founder of Vision, an organization that focuses on the rights of children and sexual and religious minorities, as well as the protection of human rights defenders....” [READ MORE]
Tahir is the co-founder of Vision, an organization that focuses on the rights of children and sexual and religious minorities, as well as the protection of human rights defenders. Vision achieves its mission by developing the skill base of its beneficiaries to help them overcome the challenges they face. Hailing from Abbottabad, Tahir is a 2004 Ashoka Fellow and holds a master’s degree in international development from American University and an LLM degree from Duke Law School.
“Leaders aren't usually the best swimmers out there, but are always the first few to take the risk of crossing river. Acumen has taught me that leading the change is worth the risk.” [READ MORE]
Waqas is the Founder of Hometown, an e-commerce startup which helps impoverished craftsmen make high-end leather products to sell in the global market. Since its launch in June 2012, Hometown has grown its sales network to over 17 countries. Waqas is an avid blogger, an activist against internet censorship in Pakistan, and the Founder of Smart Digital Media Agency. Originally from Basirpur, Waqas now lives in Lahore.