CaterpillHERs

About Us

Our story starts in 2019 and still continues with the mission to empower women in emerging countries and globally for gender equality.

Our Ever Growing Community of Alumni

CaterpillHERs’ Story of Metamorphosis

2019

The Birth

The foundation for CaterpillHERs was laid in 2019, when our founder, Hira Saeed conceived this idea of building a community-led bootcamp for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan. She wrote emails, reached out to her network, and pitched CaterpillHERs at every startup competition. While, globally, social enterprises are run mostly by women, the concept of women-centric programs was missing from Pakistan's business landscape. Her research brought up some NPOs working to help women with entrepreneurship skills – but they were working only in the major cities of the country, while more than 62% of the population lives in rural or semi-urban areas. Hira wanted CaterpillHERs to reach every woman in Pakistan, including – and especially – those living in the remoter regions of Pakistan… …because the foundation of CaterpillHERs was, and is, equity. She wanted to introduce technology and digital skills to these women and empower them with it. This is the year when we ran our first pilot project which had a combination of online and on-site sessions. It was a 1:1 training program on entrepreneurship for women. Our efforts saw their first reward when we were funded by the U.S. Department of State.
2019
2020

One Step Back, Three Steps Ahead.

2020 was the year that tested our resilience and witnessed our growth. Despite facing substantial losses, we kept working with the ambition to bring the best to the underserved women in Pakistan. CaterpillHERs challenged conventional mentorships in Pakistan by introducing 1:1 high-touch mentorship and mentor matching programs where we paired each entrepreneur to one local and one international mentor from Silicon Valley. We expanded our entrepreneurship accelerator and partnered with Miller Center to launch their world-class social entrepreneurship program in Pakistan. With this partnership, CaterpillHERs brought an opportunity for women in Pakistan to learn in an interactive and highly immersive mentorship program. Bringing Global Social Benefit Institute to Pakistan is another feat we are proud of. This unique program not only trained women about the ins and outs of building and running a social enterprise but also connected them with mentors from Silicon Valley.
2020
2021

Expanded Leadership

In the year 2021, our cofounder, Faiza Yousuf, joined us. By then, Faiza had already been running WomenInTechPK and CodeGirls – nonprofits helping women with their careers in tech. Her expertise complemented Hira’s, and there, we saw new avenues opening up for CaterpillHERs. Along with our Entrepreneurship programs, this year, we launched career accelerators. These accelerators were to help women launch their careers from scratch – the goal was to help them work remotely and become financially independent.
2021
2022

Making Headlines

The year 2022 witnessed a breakthrough in Pakistan’s digital market. For the first time in history, Upwork partnered with any organization in Pakistan. And you guessed it right. CaterpillHERs partnered with Upwork to facilitate the participants of our Freelance Track and help them land better gigs off of the skills they learn in our programs. The success of this partnership resulted in a continuation of the fruitful collaboration. In the year 2022, we launched Pakistan's first Product Management Accelerator. It was an instant success and helped several women up their careers by several notches. Also, we were being recognized by local and international organizations for our contribution to women’s empowerment in Pakistan. Among the several accolades, the one that deserves special mention was the selection of both our founders as the finalists for the Aurora Tech Award this year.
2022
2023

We saw the Emergence of a Butterfly

CaterpillHERs began taking its form and was ready to fly in the year 2023. This year, we launched several new courses, such as Greater Good Accelerator and Skills To Income Accelerator Programs. These programs were subsidized and focused mainly on women from smaller cities and climate crisis-affected areas of Pakistan, helping them become financially independent. The goals for the two accelerators were the same: reducing poverty and fostering sustainable economic growth. Following a number of awards and media mentions, by this point, our team had already established itself as the industry expert. In the year 2023, we successfully partnered with several organizations to offer consultation and high-end content around DEI for their employee training sessions.
2023
2024

The Flight (and Fight) Continues…

Today, we have a team of hand-picked individuals who are empathetic, smart, and dedicated to bringing about a change in the world. We are always on the same page except when it comes to selecting a beverage – we can never agree on one. Coffee or lemonade? We always have a variety on the table.
2024

Media Mentions

From our partners

CaterpillHERs offered their expertise in developing a comprehensive course on (Introduction to Data Literacy).

Katie Shah

Program Officer
Community Solutions Program
IREX

Draper University is proud to have partnered with CaterpillHERs to support entrepreneurship among women in Pakistan. CaterpillHERs’ commitment to fostering innovation and development is truly inspiring, and we are excited to continue supporting their mission to uplift women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem

Khadija Ghazi

VP of Innovation and Development
Draper University

CaterpillHERs’ collaboration with Atlas Corps on the Pakistan Emerging Leaders Initiative in 2023 has been nothing short of exceptional. CaterpillHERs’ professionalism, expertise, and genuine passion for women’s leadership left a lasting impact on young leaders engaged in their activities, and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future

Dr. Corinna Hoerst

Acting CEO, Atlas Corps