Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed

  • Founder, Social Innovation Lab
  • Pakistan

Impact area: Economic empowerment; Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8

Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed founded Social Innovation Lab in 2013. The organization works to create a social impact ecosystem that supports social innovators and embeds sustainability as a core value in Pakistan's entrepreneurial ecosystem,and beyond. They provide a testing ground to novice entrepreneurs while ensuring that business practices serve marginalized populations and fields.

"SIL operates with the intent of promoting a more equitable distribution of resources and a healthier society," Maryam explains. "This project will address the issue of unemployment and income inequality faced by women. We will enhance the capacity of women artisans in the rural north of Pakistan and a group of Bolivian and Peruvian immigrant seamstresses in Brazil, facilitating growth in their incomes. We’re currently conducting a pilot project called ‘Weaving Pathways’ the aim of which is to connect resource limited artisanal communities with global markets through digital platforms. Building upon this, through the GYRF funding, we will bring together partners from Pakistan, Brazil, & the UK. This project has the potential to empower participants to build a better, more equitable interim and post-pandemic world for themselves, their families, communities, and local economies."

The Global Youth Resiliency Fund will help Maryam and team to achieve the following results:

  • Equip 25 women artisans and seamstresses from Pakistan and Brazil with improved skills and knowledge to produce new innovative products. They will develop new product lines through our training and partnerships with leading industry designers.
  • Improve access for 25 women artisans and seamstresses to the local/global market through sustainable linkages and marketing skills, resulting in a contribution to the local economies of Pakistan and Brazil.
  • Strengthen value chains to facilitate access of under-resourced rural women to viable markets. Value chains and new business opportunities will be established with the support of stakeholders such as big-name local brands, retail stores etc.
  • Increase job creation for the women in the rural north of Pakistan and immigrant communities in Brazil, as artisans/seamstresses will expand their products and start their own businesses.
  • Recognition of local crafts and narratives of Pakistan, Bolivia and Brazil, promoting indigenous heritage, arts, and culture in local and global markets. ​


Learn more about the Social Innovation Lab here.