Mera Maan began work in social enterprise development in the USA, Kenya, Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The aim is to create social enterprise accelerator and promote socio-economic development at scale, national and internationally.
Shahnaz proceeded on an 'inner journey' at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she crystalized a concept and strategy for Mera Maan as a social entrepreneur, in the business of creating social enterprises and ‘changemakers’.
Shahnaz registered Mera Maan under SECP, as a private enterprise to address social issues through sustainable capacity development interventions at policy level and with communities at the base of the pyramid.
Shahnaz sold her previous firm and joined a development sector organization to manage a grant fund of over $300 million. This experience oriented her to policy level development sector programming, and how to scale initiatives at national level.
Mera Maan, literally meaning 'my pride, my dignity', implemented an economic empowerment project for 1000 women across 4-districts, and built a facility called 'Mera Maan Residential Training Center (MMRTC)'.
In the 2005 earthquake, Shahnaz's 17-year-old son, Salman, lost his life, and her 10-year-old son, Daniyal, was injured. In those moments of stark pain and startling clarity, she decided to set up Mera Maan, which would commit it self to making the world a better place.
Two passions fused when Shahnaz set up a for-profit training and consulting company with a mandate to work with lower-income women and alleviate poverty through enterprise development. The company was set up as a social enterprise aimed to provide a business solution to a social issue.
In 20 years, the company evolved from a one-woman business to an internationally recognized institute with the capacity to cascade large scale training through community-based enterprise activists and changemakers.
She joined the Development Support Training Project, a USAID funded initiative, to enhance the effectiveness of Government training institutions.
She developed a deep passion for designing experiential training modules, training trainers and supporting small and micro-enterprises, especially for women.
Shahnaz Kapadia Rahat began her career as a lecturer at her alma mater, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.