Young entrepreneurs use Internet for start-ups

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STAFF REPORT ISB: Waqas Ali and Sidra Qasim of Markhor have introduced Pakistani handmade leather shoes for men to the international markets. The shoes are made in a small village outside Lahore, but thanks to the Internet, they sell in 17 countries.

Without money or even a laptop to call her own, young Pakistani entrepreneur Sidra Qasim moved from her small hometown in 2011 to the big city of Lahore to start a business.

Ali and Qasim saw an opportunity that would exploit a hole in the market and employ local craftsmen who had been struggling to make ends meet.

Ali and Qasim are examples of a philosophy that some of the worlds leading thinkers and philanthropists have been betting on that the Internet and technology will help entrepreneurs in developing nations build wealth and pull themselves and their communities out of poverty.

Markhors business links the old Pakistan with the new – in the glossy, hand-stitched shoes made in their local village.

In 2012, they had their first production run, and launched their business selling handcraft shoes online. Within six months, their company, Markhor Shoes, had sold 200 pairs of shoes in 17 countries.


Published in: Volume 05 Issue 44

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