Essential Women: Shiza Shahid

Shiza Shahid

Founder of Now Ventures, and Founding CEO of the Malala Fund

Shiza Shahid

Founder of Now Ventures, and Founding CEO of the Malala Fund
Shiza Shahid is an entrepreneur, women’s rights advocate and investor. She is the Founding CEO of the Malala Fund, an organization that was fueled by the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a young activist for women’s education in Pakistan who was shot by a masked Taliban gunman on her school bus. In partnership with Shahid, Malala’s story became a movement for women’s education through the Malala Fund, which invests in developing countries in regions where most girls aren’t able to have a secondary education. Today, Shahid is focused on supporting mission-driven start-ups whose financial success makes the world a better place through her VC Fund and Platform, Now Ventures.
"What I create is different from what you create, but we each have our unique story, our unique experiences and perspective, so only we can do what we set out to do. What a shame it would be if we couldn’t?"
On her motivation:
"We only get a certain period of time in life. I am motivated by questions like: 'How can I use the time I have? How do I feel in my body and mind? How do I love? What do I create? Does it improve the world? In all of these ways, how do I live in a way that is authentic?' What I create is different from what you create, but we each have our unique story, our unique experiences and perspective, so only we can do what we set out to do. What a shame it would be if we couldn’t?”

A defining moment?
"One moment that was particularly pivotal for me was when I was in Norway with Malala and she was the first child to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In that moment, through our hard work, we were able to shatter a lot of stereotypes. We were able to show what girls are capable of when given the power they deserve. That is one moment, amongst many, that was significant."
On empowerment:
"Perhaps one of my greatest assets and blessings is the women I have been able to surround myself with. Embracing my womankind and the women in my life, has always been an asset to me. But for most women, being a woman makes it much more difficult to succeed. On my own journey to becoming more self confident, I have found great strength from fellow female entrepreneurs and inspiring friends."

On ‘Pause’:
"To me, pause is about the energy of everyday, and less about finding the time. Your work needs to be fulfilling. If your work is draining your energy, then it’s difficult to be thoughtful. I also build rituals for sleep, and maintain a connection to my body through exercise. Pause is being more self aware of the constant thought patterns in my mind, and how to break through those walls so that I can be more focused, and not on autopilot."
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Shiza is wearing: