Washington, D.C.
March 1, 2023

U.S.-Pakistan Think Big! Summit Co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State, WEConnect International, and The Centre for Business and Society (CBS) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)


Washington, D.C. In celebration of International Women’s Day, U.S. and Pakistani leaders in the private sector, academia, and civil society will participate in a virtual event on March 7, 2023, to highlight opportunities to advance women’s economic empowerment in Pakistan following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted challenges facing women in the workforce globally.  Barriers to accessing digital technology, disruptions to supply chains, the dual burden of managing eldercare and childcare, and increased risk of gender-based violence emerged as key challenges that exacerbated broader economic dislocation resulting from the pandemic.

Speakers include U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome; the State Department’s U.S. Special Representative for Business and Commercial Affairs Dilawer Syed; Pakistan’s First Lady Begum Samina Alvi; Federal Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman;  Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan Sima Kamil; Dr. Zeelaf Munir; Chairman of the M5 Groupe Munir Mashooqullah; Founder of the Hum Network Sultana Siddiqui; Managing Director of S&P Global Pakistan Mujeeb Zahur; and Advisor to the Consumer Division of Packages Limited Henna Babar Ali; and Dean of the School of Business, Lahore University for Management Sciences Dr. Alnoor Bhimani among other corporate executives and leaders in civil society in the U.S. and Pakistan.

The event will connect leaders across sectors and aims to enhance collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Radhika Prabhu, Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia and Executive Director of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council at the U.S. Department of State says, “The Summit will spark important conversations about the economic challenges women face as a result of the pandemic and connect women entrepreneurs in Pakistan with tools and resources they need to source to corporate buyers in Pakistan, regionally and globally.”

Dr. Alnoor Bhimani, the Honorary Dean of the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), LUMS, announced, “The Summit will explore corporate social responsibility and philanthropic investment, family-friendly and flexible work policies; physical/mental health and safety; financial inclusion and access to non-financial services; access to digital technology; and inclusive supply chains.”

“Women business owners deliver solutions that make life better for everyone and they are key to achieving inclusive and sustainable global prosperity,” said Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International. “That is why we are thrilled to co-host this unique Summit of thought leaders, corporations, and women business owners ready to Think Big! and set the stage for measurable impact at scale.”

This event is co-hosted by WEConnect International, The Centre for Business and Society (CBS) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Texas A&M University, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, S&P Global and Vital Voices Global Partnership. The Summit is an initiative of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership between Texas A&M University and the U.S. Department of State..

Learn more and register at:  https://events.hubilo.com/weconnect-international-USPakistanThinkBigSummit2023/register

Media passes are available upon request.

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International is a member-led, global non-profit that brings motivated, large corporate, multilateral and government buyers together with qualified women-owned suppliers around the world. It works with over 175 multinational member buyers, with over $3 trillion in annual purchasing power combined, that have committed to sourcing more products and services from women-owned businesses based in over 135 countries. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies Women’s Business Enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women.  www.WEConnectInternational.org