10 May

National Freelancing Convention 2017

This glorious event took place on the 28th of March 2017 at Arfa Software Technology Park, Lahore. It was organized by PITB (Punjab Information Technology Board) and was co-hosted by e-Rozgaar Programme and TechHub Connect. Timings were from 9 am to 7 pm. This event brought together leading freelancers, students, professors, entrepreneurs, employers and relevant stakeholders from all across Pakistan to network and interact with each other. The convention was organized to build stronger ties within the Pakistani freelancing community and help in creating cross-industry avenues. Different sessions were organized during this event providing knowledge on different aspects and platforms of blogging, freelancing and entrepreneurship. Freelancers, payment solutions, bloggers, IT companies and all other stakeholders of the relevant industry showcased their products in their respective stalls. Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif (Chief Minister Govt of Punjab), Dr. Umar Saif (Chairman PITB), Mr. Jahangir Khanzada (Sports Minister Punjab) and Mr. Syed Raza Ali Gillani (Higher Education Minister) graced the opening ceremony with their presence and motivational speeches. 

 

The e-Rozgaar Program launched by the government was discussed and students were encouraged to become entrepreneurs and freelancers as it is the need of time. The youth of any nation becomes a challenge and a burden on its economy. Through this program, the challenge is converted into opportunity. Youngsters are empowered and trained so they stand up on their feet. These are efforts by the government towards a better Pakistan. Other initiatives by the government of Punjab were also discussed such as Self Rozgaar Scheme, Skill Development and Interest-free loans.  Awareness was created on 40 e-Rozgaar centers which are being set up by the Chief Minister of Punjab to help individuals earn money online. They will also have advisors for career counselling. The focus was on the fact that Freelancing on the internet is successful in Pakistan and that it is the 4th largest country in the world that earns money online. Unemployment can be eliminated through freelancing. Today there are more than 2 lac freelancers in Pakistan who have an identity due to this program.

 

The honorable speakers referred to Mr. Muzamil Arif who belonged to a very poor family and he is one of the first successful freelancers in Pakistan. Muzamil then took the rostrum and spoke about his inspirational journey. He encouraged the audience to use internet for earning through persistence, hard work and passion. Mr. Syed Raza Ali Gillani’s speech was worth mentioning too. He delivered an exceptionally encouraging speech where he focused on patriotism. He said we should always think positive about our country and never condemn it. We should defend it, and prove to be better Pakistanis. He ended his thought-provoking address on the note that we should try to be better Muslims as Allah is watching and better Pakistani’s as the world is watching. His enthusiastic gestures and tone gave goosebumps to the audience and his message was very well received. 

Entrepreneurs, freelancers and companies from all over Pakistan came and set up their stall at the event. Well-known companies such as Pakwheels, BroadPeak Technologies, Technologix, Tech Hub Connect, Mentor Graphics were present. Entrepreneurs and Freelancers with upcoming businesses such as Paltoopk.com, Baithak, Maxmind Design & Black were showcasing their ideas. There were many sessions arranged throughout the day like:

  • The art of blogging
  • Building efficient payment gateways for freelancers
  • Facebook developer circles
  • Freelancing to entrepreneurship
  • Women in tech – Bridging gender divide
  • Official Wordpress community meetup

Eminent, experienced and well-versed speakers from different industries spoke to the audience during these sessions. Many foreign speakers addressed the audience through video conferencing. Overall the event was very enlightening and a great source of networking and business opportunity for entrepreneurs and freelancers. It was a great initiative from the Government of Punjab and we hope to see such events in future.