Archives for category: SMEs

The P@SHA Fund for Social Innovation recently announced its first round of winners. In the coming weeks, TC-P will be highlighting these innovative projects which aim to use technology to meet social needs in education, culture, medicine, environmental or any other community problem. This week TC-P sits down with Waqas Ali, the brains behind Hometown Shoes, an online store that connects local artisans directly to consumers.

A native of Lahore, Waqas first came up with the idea of Homemade Shoes during a conversation with M. Hussain in his village, Basirpur in Okara District. Hussain had a small business of handmade leather shoes, and would sell his product to big brand shoe stores. Unfortunately while the large chains would make a high profit margin, Hussain would make very little. “I asked him why don’t we sell using the internet and offered my help” says Waqas, “But we couldn’t get started right away because not having seed funding, and recently we finally made it through the P@SHA Social Fund.”

Hometown Shoes will currently be targeting consumers in Lahore only but hope to expand to Punjab and then, the rest of the country. Currently, the Hometown Shoes team is busy with production and fine-tuning their website. Towards the end of March, they will be organizing an exhibition of handmade crafts in Lahore. Don’t miss it!

When asked how he sees Hometown Shoes expanding, Waqas responds, “We are reaching out to other local artisans to add a variety of handmade leather products like handbags, wallets and belts. So there is a lot that is still to be found and work on. We are very excited about what is ahead for us”.

To follow Hometown Shoes progress, subscribe to their blog. You can also follow them on twitter and like them on Facebook. If you missed TC-P’s original post on the P@SHA Fund for social innovation, check it out here.


Inspired by the Acumen Fund Blog’s “Seen & Heard” weekly round-up of links, the ThinkChange Pakistan team is going to give you a weekly dose of all things #socent!

From the Land of the Pure:

  • The Express Tribune reports on a round table discussion on micro-insurance that took place this week, resulting in draft regulations to encourage the expansion of the sector.
  • Gawaahi was launched, providing an online platform to tell the stories of survivors. Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

We in #socent Do Things Differently:

Lastly, TED released TED Conversations, connecting people to converse, collaborate and debate on the issues that matter for them.

That’s it for this week from the ThinkChange Pakistan team – there’s some great stuff lined up next week, so make sure you’re subscribed to the blog or following us on Facebook or Twitter!

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