Anusheh Hassan made her dream into a reality, when she got accepted to NYU on a full scholarship and attained all the knowledge and lived through all the experiences that she dreamed about. After that, she came back with a vision – to develop a page that would inspire young women all over. The Start Up Girl by Anusheh Hassan is a page that perpetuates the belief that all women have the potential to be great as long as they don’t let anything stand in their way. From creating the Start Up Girl to potentially opening up a fashion brand, we had a one on one with Anusheh Hassan as she shares all! Scroll down to check out more!
Q1. Tell us about your time at NYU? Do you feel your collegiate experience gave you the idea to start up your blog?
As a young girl I could have never imagined studying at New York University, that too on a 100% scholarship! I was blessed to be a part of the Presidential Honors Scholar program, which consists of the top 10% of the thousands of applicants from all over the world! Living independently, studying & working in New York, was nothing more than a pipe dream, and then a mission and a half to accomplish, just like it is for many other young girls in Pakistan.
I’ve had a lot of young girls ask me about my journey and seek guidance particularly related to the unfair societal restrictions on females that hinder us to fulfill our dreams and achieving our utmost potential. I wanted to create a blog where I could talk about how I navigated the rocky road to my dream college and then moving back to Pakistan to become a social entrepreneur. I hope sharing my journey is a source of hope and inspiration to the young girls embarking on a similar path.
My vision for Startup Girl is to create a platform that empowers young girls to become leaders and future entrepreneurs. By providing them with the right guidance and mentorship to develop their social, leadership and entrepreneurial skills at a young age. Through this blog I would like to share my journey, along with the journey of many other inspirational female entrepreneurs who have taken the world by surprise and proven that having the right attitude and given the correct platform, we can do wonders!
Q2. Your blog is about allowing women to believe their voice can change the world – how have you been sending across that message?
Since a very tender age, I always noticed the apparent ignorance in our culture towards educating and mentoring our girls, building them up as integral and valuable part of the society and giving them the right skill set to make them truly independent. I realized at a young age that if I were to bring about change, I will have to start with empowering myself and other young women around me. Since then, my only mission has been to make sure people recognize our voices in the deafening sound of patriarchy and the constant tug of war on the status of women in our country.
I had planned on interviewing and sharing the journey of various strong who have taken an initiative to start up something that the world made them believe they couldn’t. However, due to Covid19, I had to resort to live sessions on the page instead.
I recently started a series called “Conquer Quarantine” where I have been having conversations with various entrepreneurs & professionals and sharing productivity tips from on how to stay productive, efficient and healthy (physically, mentally, and spiritually) during this tough time!
Q3. What are some of your other plans for Start Up Girl?
One quote I live by is “If we succeed in empowering girls, we will succeed in everything else!”
I believe in starting young and made this page for the sole purpose of empowering & uplifting young ambitious girls through inspiration, guidance, & mentorship from other accomplished women!
My vision is to make this a community where we share inspirational stories of women who took the initiative of starting something up; their struggles, the challenges they faced in the professional world and how other young females can learn from it! The female entrepreneurs will share their insights and provide mentorship and guidance for the other young women. I hope that each one of us can inspire, empower and support each other to start working on something we’ve been passionate about.
Q4. What is your opinion on other pages like yours who are empowering women? Do you feel there’s something lacking in them?
are some great women empowerment pages that are doing an amazing job of getting
our voices heard. It truly is so inspiring to see so many women making an
effort to uplift one another!
My only concern or reservation is with some “feminist” women empowerment pages that depict a very negative image of radical feminism and end up being anti-men instead of being pro-women. This can be very problematic and counter intuitive, because the idea is to promote women, raise our voices for ‘equality’ and sending out positive messages of co-existence, instead of trying to bring the other gender down. I would love to see more pages focus of positivity, equality and genuinely empowering women in all aspects of life, personally and professionally!
Q5. Would you go for a dress or a pantsuit if you had a job interview?
Definitely a pantsuit! For some reason, a power suit gives me a sense of strength and can-do attitude!
Did you know it wasn’t until 1993 that women in the U.S. were allowed to wear pantsuits on the Senate floor? They started wearing them around the same time that they won the vote! Hence, pantsuits still serve as a powerful statement making outfit choice for many female leaders!
Q6. What are some of the things you’ve been doing during quarantine?
Quarantine was a blessing in disguise for me (or I’d like to focus on the positive aspect of it) because I finally got the time to work on the Startup Girl page and it’s Facebook group. Due to my usual office routine, I had never gotten a chance to truly give this platform my 100%, but now I am able to create some amazingly useful content for the people who follow me. The live sessions I have been doing with various entrepreneurs and professionals have proven to be very beneficial and have kept me quite motivated!
I have also been learning various skills and softwares like video editing, marketing essentials and taking some short online courses to develop new skillsets!
Most importantly, I have been taking this time to also take a step back, practice yoga & meditate and embrace this pause to re-connect with my deeper self and the world around me.
Q7. What is a message you’d like to give to women during this time?
I hope the one positive outcome of this crisis is that we learn to appreciate, cherish & be grateful for all the blessings we had been taking for granted! Especially the blessing of being a woman, a powerful woman who can do wonders! God has inherently made us strong, powerful and has given us the ability to create, nurture & transform, but we fail to recognize our true potential.
Perhaps this time of defeating silence is a good chance to contemplate, dive deep inside ourselves to discover our untapped potential and once all this is over, we all get the start up and accomplish something we’ve always been passionate about!
Q8. What are some of your goals you’d like to accomplish?
My goal for this year is to be able to execute the women empowerment fashion brand that I have been working on. It is a by women for women brand to aims to help less privileged women become financially independent and self sufficient through skill development. It focuses specifically on women who are sexual assault victims, domestic violence victims, and single mothers. I am deeply passionate about this and genuinely pray that God helps me fulfill my life’s purpose through this cause of helping and uplifting les privileged women.
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