Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) has partnered with Extreme Commerce to launch an online training program for women to acquire skills as Amazon Virtual Assistants. The program will enable women to earn and be self-employed, while working remotely, during the current pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis, and Pakistan is no exception. The adverse economic impact of the pandemic has affected people worldwide, particularly women in underdeveloped and developing countries. While there are widespread layoffs and unemployment, PSDF has been trying to establish new avenues and opportunities for sustainable employment.
The Amazon Virtual Assistants online training program launched by PSDF and Extreme Commerce is one such initiative that works by enabling women in Pakistan to assist sellers on the Amazon platform. The ‘Virtual Assistant’ is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office. From the broader perspective, the role is multi- scope in areas of interest such as administrative, social media, real estate, research, e-commerce, data entry, book-keeping, and marketing.
The training model is online and home-based, teaching women relevant skills ranging from Online Communication, Customer Service, and E-commerce landscape, to Amazon Product Research Tools, creating Listings and Order management. This training by PSDF and Extreme Commerce spans 2.5 months, with the last leg focused on establishing market linkages. In the pilot of this program, the target is to train 100 females to become Amazon Virtual Assistants.
The program is advantageous in offering women a remote working opportunity, and the chance to become digital entrepreneurs while earning a sustainable income. Moreover, the program is also beneficial in training women in useful, transferable skills, which they can utilize to work as freelancers on Up work or Fiver.
Speaking about the venture, Jawad Khan, CEO PSDF said, “Our focus during this pandemic has been to take the initiative to provide sustainable income generation opportunities, particularly for women hardest hit by the pandemic. Loss of jobs and conventional means of earning have meant that we have had to look at new and creative solutions to provide training and income opportunities, this venture is a prime example of our impetus to do just that”.
Sunny Ali, CEO, Extreme Commerce, said, “we are extremely happy to partner with the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) in a noble-gesture that will enable unemployed women to acquire online skills on the Amazon platform. We hope this joint-venture will commence an era of home-based online business activity for women”.