Sadia supported her education by stitching clothes and giving tuitions. She was the first girl in her family to hold a university degree. Armed with a Masters degree in Computer Sciences, Sadia realized her love for Arts outlasted her interest in Programming. She became a self taught 3D artist and spent seven years in game development. Lack of a safe space to nurture emerging talent led her to set up the first and only game-development training academy in Pakistan—PixelArt Games.
She discovered USPWC partner WECREATE through Facebook. Before joining WECREATE she was toying with other entrepreneurial ideas but decided that the academy idea demanded full focus. At WECREATE she learnt the mechanics of starting a business and the fundamentals required to get started. WECREATE offered an incubatory period wherein she was able to start the academy. She was also offered a space to hold events and encouraged to continue despite having no funders. She remembers, “It was a great source of inspiration, mentorship, and support for me, and this is still true today.”
Starting a business was an uphill climb. Sadia says, “It was a personal challenge for me to start a business as a woman (and the first college educated graduate in my family), without funding, having to leave my job, and still being able to sustain myself.”
Today as she seeks to attract more funding for her venture, Sadia continues to be involved with WECREATE and its community by being a mentor to other participants. Speaking of challenges faced by women entrepreneurs she adds, “There are many challenges such as being a woman in a patriarchal society, it seems that women have to work twice as hard. I am lucky to have received lots of support, advisors, mentorship and exposure to the international industry and this has played a big role in our continued success.” Sadia’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Hold on to your dreams, you may have to spend a lot of time to prove to your family and others that you can succeed but if you believe in yourself and continue to work hard anything is possible.”