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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Fiza Farhan

Fiza Farhan

Chief Executive Officer at Buksh Foundation / Director at Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd / Chief Strategy Officer at Compasstnc



Global Strategic Development Advisor / Consultant

Company NameGlobal Strategic Development Advisor

Dates EmployedJul 2016 – Present


Employment Duration1 yr


• Seed Out Social Enterprise- Advisor to the President: Advise the President / Management of SeedOut on effective fundraising strategies and shape the organizational philosophy to maximum impact and achieve scale (Ongoing) 

• Agriculture Delivery Unit, Government of Punjab- Senior Consultant: Advise the ADU on the Communication Needs and Capacity Gaps for a robust Communication Strategy (Ongoing) 

• The Planning and Development Department Punjab- Senior Advisor for Punjab SDG Unit: Advise the SDG Unit towards turnkey realization of the National Action Plan of Punjab in line with the Global SDG’s (Ongoing) 

• UNDP- Advisor on SDG Seal for Private Sector: Conceptualize and launch an SDG Seal as an endorsement tool for the UN Agencies in partnership with the private sector (Ongoing)

• Punjab Disaster Management Authority- Climate Change Expert- Advise on the effects of natural disasters on vulnerable populations especially women and girls, recommending strategies to curb the same strengthening disaster preparedness for the PDMA authorities 

• The World Bank- Senior Gender Specialist: International advisor to facilitate Gender Champion Groups / Advisory Councils and World Bank’s Pakistan Gender Strategy

• United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Private Sector Advisor on SDG’s: Exploring the role of the private sector in achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan

• Ministry of Industries, Trade & Commerce Punjab – Senior Advisor: Strategic analysis of Punjab’s Industrial Sector & development of Punjab Industrial Policy along with effective donor representation

• Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) - Women Empowerment & Gender Specialist: Advising BISP on fostering partnerships within the private sector to further the economic empowerment of the 5.2M beneficiaries with unique collaborations

• Pakistan Sugar Mills Association- Advisor to Chairperson PSMA on strategic partnerships, advocacy and multi-stakeholder business solutions

Chief Executive Officer

Buksh Foundation
 – Present (5 years 2 months)3-R MM Alam Road, Gulberg II, Lahore
CAREER CEO Buksh Foundation: 2009- till date
• Co-founded and currently leading Buksh Foundation, a social development and impact investment led social enterprise
• Developed strategic CSR strategies and implemented with leading MNC’s to create socio-economic value from CSR projects by aligning them to Sustainable Development Goals SDGs
• Pioneered innovative models of financial inclusion, launching Clean Energy Loans in Pakistan with a multi-stakeholder model
• Successfully conceptualized and implemented innovative methodologies of inclusive growth, creating benchmarks for the Global Microfinance Industry.
• Conceptualized strategic development projects addressing multiple regional / national challenges e.g. “Lighting a Million Lives” creating social energy enterprise models for electrification of off-grid rural communities.
• Created a brand based on innovation and social impact for Buksh Foundation recognized globally in the renewable energy, social impact and women empowerment sectors.
• Led, synergized and coordinated strategic actions between all internal organizational departments and multiple external stakeholders including Government, communities, business association, NGO’s and various public and private sector institutions
• Developed multiple valued partnerships with investment funds, knowledge networks, CSR charters, philanthropists and bilateral institutions including USAID, World Bank, ADB etc.
• Led Buksh Foundation to get recognized at prestigious global platforms including Clinton Global Initiative, UN Foundation Sustainable Energy for ALL, World Economic Forum and Forbes 30 Under 30, 2015.
(Open)10 honors and awards

Director Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd.

Buksh Energy
 – Present (7 years)Lahore
Director Buksh Energy Private Limited: 2009 – till date
• Launched Pakistan's first ESCO (Energy Servicing Company) with turnkey renewable energy generation and conservation services for the public and private sector
• Developed turnkey renewable energy roof-top solutions to emerge as Pakistan's leading Solar based EPC serving commercial, residential, industrial and agricultural clients in the private sector
• Led strong government lobbying and engagement towards Pakistan's first 10MW Solar Independent Power Plant (IPP) transforming BEPL into a Power Project Developer in strong liaison and negotiations with federal regulatory bodies
• Led the technical and commercial teams towards evolving as industry experts scaling multiple renewable projects including Solar ATM's for commercial banks, Commercial Solar projects for MNC’s, Solar Milk Chillers for Dairy Companies, Solar BTS for Telecoms amongst core clients
• Conceptualized and launched the model of “Green Financing” across multiple tiers with a tripartite relationship between financiers, technology providers and consumers closely linking in sustainability and environmental stewardship
• Established strong affiliations with multiple International energy networks and platforms engaging with global environmental dialogues; World Energy Council, UN Caring for Climate, UN Global Compact, Asian Development Bank Energy for ALL amongst others
(Open)1 honor or award

Chief Strategy Officer

Compass Training and Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.
 – Present (1 year 4 months)Lahore
Within her role as CSO, Fiza she directly assist in developing, executing and implementing
strategic initiatives especially within the consultancy ambit of Compass. In addition, having worn
multiple hats in her career, Fiza directly supervises and leads the Consultancy role with
diverse clients from public and private sectors.


Italian Development Committee-Lahore Chapter
 – Present (2 years 1 month)
Fiza is a passionate and focused professional, as the Co-Chairperson Fiza Farhan's roles and responsibilities are to represent, express and give relevant opinions to the board regarding trade, commerce, finance, industry, agriculture and related questions. Her responsibilities also include providing channels of communication within the business community and within the Governments of Pakistan and Italy. She would further help in setting up and sponsoring exhibitions and showrooms in Italy and in Pakistan to display exhibitions for industrial, agricultural and other products for the benefits of members and other persons interested in or connected with the manufacture or sale of such products. As the Co-Chairperson, Fiza would get the opportunity to promote trade and commerce between the two countries and bring international communities to table for discussions and bring back foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan that has reduced and will make contributions in stabilizing the economy.

Chief Operating Officer

Buksh Foundation
 –  (1 year 5 months)3-R, MM Alam Road, Gulberg II,Lahore
(Open)3 honors and awards

Fiza farhan business woman became a member of the United Nations

February 16, 2016

A Pakistani woman has been named as a member of the United Nations body dedicated to the economic empowerment of women.Fiza Farhan was elected as a member of the first ever High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment, according to a communiqué released on Monday.


business woman fiza farhan became a member of the UN

Honors & Awards

Winner of the Education UK Alumni Awards, 2016 in the Social Category Award.

British Council
January 2016

Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, 2015

January 2015
Ms. Farhan has been selected in the Forbes 30 under 30 list of Social Entrepreneurs. She is the 4th women from Pakistan who has been short listed in this list after due diligence and stringent selection- Forbes believes that these social entrepreneurs are the ‘game changers’- changing the world. This prestigious endowment has been made on the basis of pioneering clean energy loans and innovative impact investment projects in the energy space...more

Received a complimentary membership for 2015

Clinton Global Initiatives (CGI)
July 2015
Received a complimentary membership for the Clinton Global Initiative 2015.

"IIX- Innovation and Peace Award" at the N-Peace Awards 2015 Gala Ceremony

Asia IIX & United Nations Development Programme Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (UNDP)
October 2015
Ms. Fiza Farhan - Director Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd. proudly receiving the "IIX- Innovation and Peace Award" at the N-Peace Awards 2015 Gala Ceremony, 21-23 Oct 2015 held in New York, for the development efforts of Buksh Energy and Buksh Foundation towards “peace-building” in Pakistan. N-Peace is a multi-country network of peace advocates in Asia seeking to advance Women, Peace & Security (WPS) issues. N-Peace was established in October 2010 by...more

Poverty Alleviation Award

Asian Forum on Corporate social Responsibility (AFCSR)
September 2015
Buksh Foundation is pleased and honoured to have received the "Poverty Alleviation" Award by the Prestigious Asian CSR Network, held in Bangkok. "The Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR)" was certainly an excellent opportunity to showcase Buksh Foundation’s project “Lighting a Million Lives “among prestigious companies from all over Asia, and raise awareness of the large impact being created by such innovative CSR projects that...more

"Influential Leader"

AACSB Business Schools Challenge
September 2015
The "Influential Leaders from AACSB Business Schools Challenge" recognizes 100 stories and demonstrates how all honorees personify the role as a visionary figure or change agent.

Featured as “Chand Sitara: Heroes of Pakistan” in the National Song Made with title “Chamke Hum se Pakistan”

PEPSI Pakistan
August 2015
Featured as “Chand Sitara: Heroes of Pakistan” in the National song made by PEPSI Pakistan with title “Chamke Hum se Pakistan” on August 14th, 2015.

Global Future Energy Leader

World Energy Council
August 2014

Best Practice

UN-HABITAT certified Buksh Foundation's Pioneering Clean Energy Lending (CEL) Movement in Pakistan as a “Best Practice"

Best Community Programme Merit Award

6th Annual Global CSR Summit & Awards 2014, Indonesia
April 2014

Micro Entrepreneurship Award - Positive Impact on the Community

June 2013

Global Micro Finance Achievement CS-2011

Best Social Performance

Commitment to Microfinance Professionalism

Hanson Wade 2010

Micro Entrepreneurship Award - Overcoming Diversity

January 2010

Women in Business,Architects of change


11th Annual Environment Excellence Award on “Best Performance in Renewable Energy”

National Forum for Enviroment & Health
September 2014

Certificate of Participation

5th European Microfinance Award
October 2014

Women Entrepreneur Achievement Award

Entrepreneur Council of Pakistan
June 2015
Entrepreneur Council of Pakistan (EC) presented Ms. Farhan with ‘Women Entrepreneur Achievement Award / Certificate’ at the First Women Entrepreneurs Achievement held on Thursday, June 04, 2015 at the prestigious Kinnaird College for Women Lahore. The event was graced by the distinguished chief Guest, ‘Austrian Ambassador to Pakistan’ Her Excellency Dr. Brigitta Blaha.

Best Social Entrepreneur Award

The Professionals Network
February 2015
Received Best Social Entrepreneur Award at the 4th International CSR Summit & Awards Summit
hosted by “The Professionals Network”.


Harvard Business School

Strategic Leadership in Microfinance- Executive Course, Microfinance

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Master of Science (MSc) in Business, Management

Lahore University of Management Sciences

BSc (Hons), Economics



Fiza is regularly invited as a key-note speaker and expert on multiple prestigious local and international platforms
2015 :
1. UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment. USA
2. TiE Talk Series: How to Evaluate Early Stage Startups - Pakistan
3. “TIE-CRAZY” event hosted by The Innovative Entrepreneurial Society.
4. “Innovation & Peace Award" at the N-Peace Awards USA.
5. “CEO Dialogue with TONY BUZAN”
6. Social World Enterprise Forum, Italy
7. International Women's Day Event hosted by Sahaara Group
8. PUAN International Women's Empowerment Conference
9. Nestle & Aurat Foundation Event at Women's Day.
10. LUMS Model UN Conference
2013-2014 :
1) Asian Development Consultative Workshop
2) Pakistan Microfinance Forum
3) Banking South Asia'a Half Billion Unbanked-Regional Conference by SAMN and PMN
4) Delegation to Denmark hosted by the Danish Embassy and DANIDA
5) Asia Clean Energy For ALL - Energy for All Investor Forum, Philippines
6) UN Foundation-1st SE4ALL Forum, NewYork
7) 6th Annual Global CSR Summit & Awards, Indonesia
2011-2012 :
1) International Investor Forum held in Myanmar
2) Women to Women Mentoring Event organized by LUMS & Embassy of Netherlands
3) SE4ALL Conference - New York
4) Impact Investing Summit - Washington
5) CEO Summit
6) Delhi Sustainable Development Summit
7) Women and the Green Economy
8) Hanson Wade, Singapore Conference Innovations in Investment
2009-2010 :
1. Wibcon Pakistan (women in Business- Architects of Change)
2. World Microfinance Conference in Geneva
3. Asia Society Clean Energy Conference Singapore
4. Participant at Middle Eastern Forum hosted by Abraaj - UAE
5. JP Morgan Capital Markets Conference
6. Tyson Corner Marriot Conference in Washington Dc
7. Participant at Microfinance Services World in Amsterdam / Speaker in Hanson Wade Dc Marriot
8. Micro-finance Conference
9. Asia Society Clean Energy Conference Singapore
10. Participant at Accion Microfinance Innovation Conference
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani woman has been named as a member of the United Nations body dedicated to the economic empowerment of women.
Fiza Farhan was elected as a member of the first ever High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment, according to a communiqué released on Monday.
Fiza is CEO of Buksh Foundation and director of Buksh Energy. She was also part of the ’30 under 30’ list by Forbes magazine for Social Entrepreneurs in 2015.
As a member of the panel, Fiza will join leaders of World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, UN Women as well as several other eminent gender and equality actors. She will also establish connection with economics experts, academics, trade union leaders, businesses and government representatives from across the world.
Speaking of her appointment Fiza said, “It is indeed an honour for me to represent Pakistan and the women of Pakistan on this prestigious High-Level Panel.”
“It is time that we engage global leadership and galvanize political will to scale actions with measurable impact towards women’s economic empowerment,” she added.
UN Women Country Representative in Pakistan Jamshed Kazi said, “While, Fiza will be providing advice as a global thought leader, we also look forward to her continued contribution in championing women’s economic empowerment right here in Pakistan in alignment with UN Women’s mandate.”
The sole purpose of the panel is to put forth recommendations to implement a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is aimed at improving economic outcomes for women and promoting their leadership in driving sustainable economic growth. The panel will send recommendations to enable governments, private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders on taking key decisions relating to Sustainable Development Goals and women empowerment.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2016.

Pakistani Future Energy Leader gets Forbes award for “lighting a million lives”

Fiza Farhan, one of the Future Energy Leaders of the World Energy Council, has been named by Forbes as one of this year’s “30 under 30” social entrepreneurs for her efforts to bring renewable energy to poor, rural areas of Pakistan.

Fiza Farhan, 28, co-founder of the Buksh Foundation
Ms Farhan, 28, leads the “Lighting a million lives” project at the Buksh Foundation which she co-founded in 2009 with Mr Asim Buksh, a high-end goods retailer with a social responsibility mission.
The Buksh Foundation provides microfinance to enable energy projects to be set up for villages in Pakistan that have no grid access. As basis for the project, each village would be provided with acentralised solar charging station, while a woman entrepreneur would be trained to set up and run the station for her customers.
Farhan and her co-founder embarked on the programme as they believed renewable energy could be a cleaner, cheaper alternative to traditionally used kerosene oil while providing employment for women in rural Pakistan. This would impact on the lives of the communities in many ways, from enhanced productive hours, to better health standards, to increased hours for education. The programme would be “life changing”, said Farhan.

Empowering women entrepreneurs

In order to make these rural off-grid village projects successful it was critical for Buksh Foundation’s teams to create awareness of renewable energy amongst the communities and to appoint and train agents to run the projects from within the village circles.
Roshnan Bibi – or “Light Ladies” – receive their first solar power lanterns
To achieve this, Farhan and her team focused onempowering women on their entrepreneurship skills.  They trained one woman from each village on taking charge of the photovoltaic power stations the Foundation had set up for each community.
The villagers benefit by having lower lighting costs, as the rental they pay is half of what they would have spent on fossil fuels and kerosene. Each entrepreneur would receive a loan of US$300–500 to cover the project costs, with the loan repayable over 9 to 12 months.
For a number of villages, the Foundation covers the project costs via donations from companies, development funds, grants from embassies, and Pakistani charities. Donations total $5500 for a village of 50 households.
Lighting a Million Lives has enabled many young girls and women to enhance their household income by up to 20%, as the solar lanterns have allowed many young girls and women to work at night in their own home-based stitching and embroidery businesses.
So far the Buksh Foundation has brought solar lighting to 7,500 households in 150 villagesand has provided business and clean energy loans to 12,000 entrepreneurs.Farhan will continue to develop the entrepreneurial skills of women in rural Pakistan and aims to bring clean energy to 4000 villages by 2017, an effort which she believes will directly impact on 1 million lives. By directing her training services at women, she believes the projects will have more lasting impact as the 150 women that have been trained so far have gone on to share their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge with their families and communities.

Building platform for international engagement

Fiza Farhan joined the World Energy Council as a Future Energy Leader last August upon invitation from the Pakistan member committee. Taking part in the Council’s activities has been beneficial for her work. “Being a Future Energy Leader has given me the chance to build a platform between Pakistan and global stakeholders from the private and civil sectors which enables international engagement with Pakistan’s economic status and energy situation,” she said. “Pakistan’s renewable energy resources are still untapped and present an incredible opportunity for the international business community,” she added.
The Buksh Foundation is also working with the Pakistani member committee to raise awareness of the energy crisis and identify solutions for the country.
Forty-seven percent of Pakistan’s population still remain without access to electricity, and those that do have access often experience 10 to 14 hours of blackouts per day. Steps are being taken to address Pakistan’s energy crisis, with both the government and the private sector taking an active part.

Triple bottom line

The project has increased access to education and enrolment rates in schools for both boys and girls. With the solar lights, children can now study at night and enhance their performance.
For example, Pakistan has launched its first 10 MW solar power plant in a project launched by Buksh Energy – a sister company of the Buksh Foundation – with support of the Punjabi government. Mr Buksh and Ms Farhan envision the two Buksh organisations to fulfil 5% of Pakistan’s energy needs with renewable energy by 2020.
So is not just the government that can help solve the country’s energy crisis; entrepreneurs can have a major role. Farhan said: “While there are many challenges within Pakistan’s energy sector, there are also many opportunities for companies and individuals to identify and align with. Pakistan presents a great opportunity for international investments with profitable ‘triple bottom line’ impacts.”

So, we’ve talked about young Pakistanis making a name for themselves in the international arena. Of course, anything that anyone in Pakistan does is something to be proud of but when young people, despite the circumstances, despite the tumultuous security, law and order situation in the country, make a mark on the world stage, it becomes even more important to not only praise them for their remarkable feat but also to allow other young people to be inspired to try and reach out to the stars.
These young folks right here have some truly inspirational stories for you.

13 Incredible Geniuses from Pakistan That We Didn’t Know About in 2015

1. Fajar Ajmal

1531725_1493063064334115_7919489497422904300_nSource: Fajar Ajmal
A student of Kinnaird College, Lahore, Fajar has shown remarkable empathy toward the less fortunate. She feels strongly about helping those that are at a disadvantage due to no fault of their own and despite her young age she has been a champion for the rights of every member of the society. Her initiative ‘Voice Up‘ is just the first stepping stone to a much bigger role in helping society.

2. Aashir Sheikh

6282_708921129254678_202810951394346397_nSource: Aashir Sheikh
Professional Web Developer, Windows, Android , iOS Apps & Games Developer,  Graphics Designer, 2D Intro & Character Animator, Flash Developer and Entrepreneur. Aashir is all of these things and more at the tender age of 14. Certainly this young prodigy is going to do wonders very soon.

3. Awais Imran

11873541_10155944988035557_1074053407164732201_nSource: Awais Imran
He is the co-founder of PriceOye, a startup that aims to help solve one of your biggest online shopping troubles – the hassle of finding the same product at hugely varying prices on different online stores. With this initiative, Awais and his team aim to help you quickly do your shopping and save your hard earned money.

4. Hassan Aftab, 5. Hamza Akmal Chaudhry, 6.Rayan Tofique and 7. Mujtaba Ahmed

FB_IMG_1454766183018Source: Hassan Aftab
Space travel has become an increasingly mainstream topic in the recent years and with the growing troubles here on Earth it is no surprise that NASA is conducting tests on permanent settlements in Space. These four students at Lahore Grammar School, Johar Town in Lahore, as part of the winning team from Pakistan have qualified to compete in the world competition called ‘International Space Settlement Design Competition’. Here’s hoping they make us all proud.

8. Wajahat Imam Baloch

1964817_679597162091255_912518618_nSource: Wajahat Imam Baloch
As a young Pakistani, looking for the right opportunity is always very difficult. Wajahat, as part of the founding team of Dastawezat, aims to help you with just that. It is an organization that aims to connect students with the right opportunities and help their realize their higher education dreams.

9. Khalida Brohi

da479d41447505597c1483005348378ee501878e_2880x1620Source: Ted
Khalida is no stranger to harsh realities of life. Having been born in a small village in a remote part of Balochistan and having been the first girl in her village to go to college, Khalida has always been a torch-bearer for women in her community and for women around the world. She is a women’s rights activist, a social entrepreneur, a TEDGlobal speaker and one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 in 2014.

10. Saad Ali

Saad-Ali-2Via: Pak Wheels
Every young boy dreams about becoming a racer when they’re young, this young man here is actually living that dream. Saad Ali dropped out of university where he was studying business administration so he could pursue his dream of becoming a professional motor racer. And now, he is the only certified Formula 1 racer of Pakistan.

11. Zenith Irfan

ZENITHSource: 1 Girl 2 Wheels via: pri.org
And girls, on the other hand, are told to dream about barbies and cooking and becoming the perfect wives and mothers and daughters when they grow up. Zenith Irfan is living the dream of becoming a woman she wants to be, not the woman someone else wants to see her as. This motorist takes life by it’s horns and has been to places on her motorcycle adventures where no one else has been. She has ventured far across the northern most corners of the country and her journey continues. We’re sure as hell, keeping track of where this young lady lands next.

12. Rafay Baloch

Rafay-Baloch-1Source: Tech Juice
Rafay is a techie. Specifically, he is an Ethical Hacker. Now, you might be wondering what an oxymoron that term is but there is actually a thing in the tech world called ‘ethical hackers’ and Rafay here is one of the best there is out there. Why? Well, because he hacked Paypal in 2012 and the company gave him 10,000 bucks as the prize for finding the flaw in their system. He does a lot more tech magic these days, as a ‘bug hunter’.

13. Fiza Farhan

Fiza-FarhanVia: Fashion Central
One of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 for 2015, Fiza is a smart, independent and a very promising young woman. As the co-founder of the Buksh Foundation, Fiza is involved with overseeing many development projects that are helping the marginalized communities in Pakistan. Specifically, her work focuses on projects of sustainable energy provision to remote communities of the country that get overlooked by the public sector.