Lahore: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Entrepreneurs Project congratulated in Lahore today women micro-entrepreneurs who successfully completed financial literacy training focused towards enhancing the economic role of women and improving their decision-making power.
USAID’s Entrepreneurs Project, implemented by Mennonite Economic Development Associates along with a local partner Kashf Foundation, launched the training in June 2010. The intervention originally aimed to reach 64,000 women micro-entrepreneurs but due to the increasing demand of working women in the rural areas, Kashf surpassed that goal and trained 70,000 women in just one year.
At the closing ceremony, Mr. Syed Samar Hasnain, Director Agriculture Credit and Microfinance at State Bank, said, “The basic financial literacy training, which focused on re-iterating the fundamentals of good borrowing practices such as business planning, productive use of the loan, timely repayment, avoidance of over-indebtedness, increase in savings, and knowing their consumer rights helped the women micro entrepreneurs to enhance their productivity and increase their income.”
“Of 1.6 million microfinance borrowers in Pakistan, around 100,000 enterprises are exclusively owned by women. But due to low literacy rate and social set up of the society, women are not aware of the avenues through which they can grow their businesses and increase their contribution to their household income. This training has made it possible for women to make effective and profitable business decisions,” said Agnes Luz, the Chief of Party for USAID’s Entrepreneurs Project.
In thanking USAID, the Managing Director of the Kashf Foundation, Ms. Roshaneh Zafar, said, “The support from USAID has helped us explore new vistas for women entrepreneurship development and provided a platform to take financial services to the next level of creating sustainable impact on the lives of the marginalized communities, specifically women, of Pakistan.”
For more information, contact:
Assistant Manager, Gender Empowerment Social Advocacy
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Cell: +92333 466 9949 and +92322 429 6444