ISLAMABAD: No country in the world can progress in any sphere of life without active participation of women entrepreneurs in main streams of national development. Talking to a delegation of women entrepreneurs led by Ms Rameen, recipient of the best CEO award, Meher Kashif Younis, former senior Vice President Lahore chamber said women entrepreneurs have been designated as the new engine of economic growth and rising stars of the economies in developing countries to bring prosperity and welfare. He said they contribute and support the economy extensively in different ways by being employed in several sectors. He said women chambers of commerce and industry should also come forward to help fully exploit the potential of women entrepreneurs by ensuring equal opportunities at par with other entrepreneurs besides to do away with gender inequality and discrimination. He said many successful businesses are run by women and some of them are highly skilled in entrepreneurial activities. He said it’s fact that many of the world’s largest enterprises are owned and run by women who are aware of correct application of theory in business. He said women constitute 48.54 percent of total population in Pakistan and since motherland inception this segment has been neglected outrightly what we need is to fully harness their potentials and properly utilise them in all sectors especially in SMEs on the pattern of European Union. He said Pakistan economy consists of 3.3 million SMEs comprising services providers, manufacturing units and starts up. SMEs make up over 30 percent of Pakistan GDP, account for approximately 25 percent of export generation and provide over 70 percent industrial employment. He said while in EU, Europe’s 25m SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy and provide two out of three industrial jobs in the region. About rural women Meher Kashif Younis said they also play a catalytic role towards achievement of transformational economy, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.He said major chunk of rural women can be self employed in food,livestock,agriculture health ,education sectors and SMEs by offering them interest free loans on easy installments payable after five to ten years. Leader of the delegation Ms Rameen suggested that short duration technical courses must also launched across the country to impart basic knowledge to women in various trade to meet the ever increasing demands of skilled workers in industry. She said women entrepreneurship has been recognized as providers of social upgrading ,presenting economic regeneration ,growth and job creation. Women participation in economic expansion has also been documented as very important for a country particularly their participation in the areas of entrepreneurship,she concluded.