Gems of Society

 The illuminated mind that light ups lives

There is an abundance of talent in our youth and our Woman are an economic force in the present time.  It’s great to see that Women Entrepreneurs are emerging widely in Pakistan. One great entrepreneur is the young Fiza Farhan, who had the extraordinary dream of lighting up lives by establishing clean energy projects for those living in destitute places. Fortunately, Farhan has been successful in getting her dream off the ground and making it to the top. Her remarkable achievements as a young entrepreneur have gained her prominence and recognition worldwide. Farhan has been included among the list of Forbes International’s 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs. Fiza Farhan did her Bsc from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), followed by her Masters from Warwick Business School, after which she decided to start her own company.

Fiza Farhan, having no fascination for a 9 to 5 job, had the dream of changing lives by doing something magnificent. She faced many hurdles in the beginning of her career, being a woman in a male dominant society but worked on excelling at what she does and has managed to change the mindset of so many people. Therefore, her business had a unique approach from the beginning, challenging the traditional norms of the society. One novelty of the microfinance business introduced by Farhan is that it creates enterprises instead of clients.  The simple notion of a borrower returning for a loan the second time does not seem convincing to Farhan.  In her view, the real success is defined by creating sustainable agents of change which can make a huge impact on their respective communities.

Fiza Farhan is the CEO Buksh Foundation, an initiative she took that provides solar lanterns to nearly 140 villages. The Buksh Foundation has directed its efforts to relieve the plight of destitute communities living without basic infrastructure and electricity in far off villages. Therefore, a project named “Lighting a Million Lives” was setup in collaboration with an Indian organization (TERI) which has been working on similar projects for nearly 8- 10 years. For this peculiar project, a women is chosen from each village, and these selected women then have to go through a two weeks technical and non- technical training.  The chosen women are given the title “Roshan Bibi” which literally translates into “The Light Lady” on the completion of their training. These women, after receiving the title “Roshan Bibi” become agents of change in their respective villages and run solar charging stations as representatives of the Buksh Foundation. In addition to this, two men are selected from the field and are trained in technical skills. These men after getting the required skills become technical officers and are able to fix the solar charging stations themselves.  This self- sustainability concept enables the villagers to pay themselves for anything in the solar charging station that needs to fix.

Fiza Farhan was inspired to do something for the poor. The sad narratives of the extremely poor people have galvanized Farhan to do something extraordinary and to bring about a major change in the society. She introduced solar lanterns and solar mobile charging stations through her Bukhsh Foundation in various villages to prevent people, especially children from kerosene burns due to candles and fires that they would use for light. These solar mobile charging stations have been designed to make life easy for the poor villagers.

Farhan has a big dream of changing the society by orchestrating social entrepreneurship with the right mindset. She wants to create a breakthrough for the women of Pakistan. She wants to empower women and motivate Pakistan’s youth to dream big and follow them relentlessly. Farhan strongly believes all women should focus on their professional competence and this is her greatest strength if implemented and worked hard on Fizza Farhan, is a true example of our talented, emerging youth and on account of her tremendous achievements, she has really affected many lives and is therefore a precious gem of our society.

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