Bilal Farooq Khan

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: WISE: Women's Internet Safety and EmpowermentPakistan

Bilal Farooq Khan is a key figure in the startup ecosystem of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He is also a veteran in the field of marketing and communication with more than ten years of diverse experience, with 7 of them being in the startup ecosystem of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Heading the marketing and communications for the National Incubation Center Peshawar, Bilal has taken it upon himself to educate the region's youth regarding innovation and entrepreneurship. In the past five years, he has conducted 80+ awareness sessions in 50+ institutes across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reaching out to thousands of students. Bilal has mentored and trained startups for close to 7 years and has been part of key startup ecosystem development initiatives. Bilal is also the founder and Creative Director of 37th Productions, a digital media company specializing in digital content creation. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: WISE: Women's Internet Safety and Empowerment

Through this seminar, participants had the opportunity to learn from cybersecurity experts and industry professionals with hands-on experience in online safety. Speakers shared their insights on the latest online abuse and cybercrime trends and provided practical tips and strategies for protecting oneself online. The first two workshops informed the 50 women participants about different types of cyber harassment and scams such as Doxing and Phishing. The participants were also made aware about their rights under the Pakistan (PECA) Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.

The seminar also included a panel discussion titled "Exploring the Digital Frontier: Women's Online Safety in the Age of Fake News and AI." There were also interactive sessions where participants asked questions and discussed their experiences with online abuse and cybercrime. This allowed participants to engage with the speakers and other attendees and learn from their experiences. After the seminar, participants received a comprehensive guide on online safety for women, summarizing the seminar's discussions and providing additional resources for further learning. One participant reflected, "given my role as a monitoring expert, it’s crucial [that] professional like me be well-informed regarding the challenges of harassment [in the] increasingly digital world."

"The impact of [the] WISE seminar in empowering women and girls against online abuse and cybercrime is truly commendable. [Bilal's] vision and leadership have not only created a safer online space for the participants but have also inspired positive change within our community. It is through initiatives like WISE that we can bridge the digital gender gap and ensure that women have the knowledge and skills to navigate the digital world securely." - Project Partner

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Bilal was a participant in the IVLP Project Improving the Regulatory Environment for Tech and Start-Up Investment, organized by the U.S. Department of State and CRDF Global.

Bilal's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project. "The sheer number of women working in tech and cyberspace [in the U.S.] was genuinely inspiring. Seeing that, I wanted the same for the women of my country, [so] I designed this project."

US Communities Visited 

Huntsville, AL; Washington, DC; Iowa City, IA; Louisville, KY; Columbus, OH

Country: Pakistan

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