About Us

Round 2 Objectives

Capacity Building of Incubators/Accelerators

Providing support to applicants to test innovative new programs focused on female entrepreneurs to increase uptake, improve mentoring, graduation and launch of new businesses.

Help Female Entrepreneurs overcome challenges of:

Social constraints & limited mobility
Market access & Business Planning
Startup and growth funding

Financial Access for Female Entrepreneurs

Supporting promising and impactful female led businesses launch or scale up their enterprises.


Advisory Committee

Sadia Khan

Board Director, Karandaaz

Mehr Shah

Director KMC, Karandaaz

Kaiyan Yousaf

Former Sr. Manager KM, Karandaaz

Amna Khalid

Social Development Advisor, DFID

Zulfiqar Qazilbash

Venture Capital & Enterprise Development Advisor


Who can apply?

We are inviting women-led businesses, across all sectors, operating anywhere in Pakistan to apply for the second round of our Innovation Challenge Fund.

Strong preference will be given to businesses that have an established business model and are looking to grow.

The complete eligibility criteria is given in the term sheet.

How do I apply?

Eligible businesses may apply through any of our partner websites, depending on what suits their needs:

I am a female-led business. What kind of support can I expect?

In Stage 1, the selected businesses will be provided a) business incubation training and b) access to suitable mentors.

Those that successfully complete Stage 1 will be given the opportunity to pitch their business to investors and funders. Karandaaz together with the partner incubator/accelerator may take an equity stake in the selected businesses in the shape of patient risk capital.

Karandaaz may invest up to USD 150,000 in 4 businesses at the end of the programme. The terms of the investment will be negotiated with the women-led business after completion of the incubation/acceleration programme.

If I participate, what kind of commitments will I make to Karandaaz?

Selected applicants must commit to:

  1. Completing the business incubation/acceleration programme
  2. Participate in pitches if selected by respective incubator/accelerator
  3. Being open to negotiating an investment deal with Karandaaz
  4. Participating in events, documentation and M&E activities as required by Karandaaz
Are there any participation costs?

There is no fee for participation.

Individual costs for travel and logistics, may vary depending on the programme activity, and will be specified on our partner websites.

What is the timeline for programme completion?

The programme will run from October 2017 to March 2018. Specific timelines for each training/mentorship programme will be available on our partners’ websites.

How is this different from the Karandaaz Fintech Disrupt Challenge? Are they the same?

The Fintech Disrupt Challenge or FDC is another programme of Karandaaz which focuses on financial technology firms (or Fintechs) only. The ICF rounds are centered around specific themes and providing access to finance for individuals and SMEs and is not limited to the fintech sector. Both these programmes are different and have different requirements and objectives. To learn more about the Fintech Disrupt Challenge, click here.

I have a question, or a complaint, who should I reach out to?

For questions about the applications or complaints, contact our partners (LUMS, BUITEMS or I2I) directly. If the complaint does not get resolved, you may email Karandaaz at ichallenge@karandaaz.com.pk