LAHORE: Around 35 Gilgit-based entrepreneurs presented the rich culture and tradition of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) by displaying traditional handicrafts and organic products at a two-day exhibition titled ‘Made in Gilgit’, which kicked off at Alhamra Arts Council on Thursday. The purpose of the exhibition was to encourage the entrepreneurs and provide them with a direct link to consumers. The event was organised by the National Productivity Organisation (NPO), Ministry of Industries and Production, and funded by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Supreme quality products have been put on display at the exhibition, including handicrafts, pure honey, shawls, dori work, stone work, woolen pattu, dried fruit, amigo band, door decorations, amethyst, almond oil, baby caps, a variety of stones, baby hoodies, blankets, bed sheets, bell pull, bracelets, bags, car hangings, collar sets, cushion, tissue boxes and decoration pieces. It is pertinent to mention here that almost all entrepreneurs have been trained by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for them in the northern areas of Pakistan. Rupani Foundation, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme and Central Asia Institute Gilgit are active for polishing the skills of local people. Nasreen Rani, a stallholder, said that her Hunza Sun Rise Gems and Jewellery Centre was popular for making finest gem products. “Our bracelets and precious stone rings are very popular among women in GB. We collect these precious stones in raw form from different regions of GB for further work and then refine these stones into supreme products. We deal in blue topaz, aquamarine, emerald and star ruby.” Stallholders Sadia Naz and Yaseen Sanda told Daily Times that such exhibitions were a great platform for women entrepreneur to display their skills. They said that every woman should get education and start their own business, as running a business was the best option for women instead of doing a salaried job. Entrepreneurs Noor Jehan and Tasneem Kanwal urged the government to establish training centres for ladies and creating awareness among the people regarding availing such opportunities. They said that such centres would help women from different regions of Pakistan to acquire skills that they could use to exhibit their local culture, besides generating revenue for their families. Programme officer Ali Ahsan told Daily Times that the purpose of the project was to improve productivity and socio-economic conditions of the 35 craftspersons belonging to Gilgit district. “We gave a month-long training to all entrepreneurs in which our trainers briefed them on how to communicate with consumers, selling techniques and tactics of business.” He said that a website had also been launched for them, where the images of their products were uploaded for potential customers to buy online.