microfinance: a boost for women entrepreneures

Pakistan, microfinance - Rahim Bibi, femme commerçante
a boost for women entrepreneures
of Pakistanis live on less than €2.60 per day
of Pakistani women have a bank account
$5 M
loaned by Proparco to the Kashf Foundation in 2017
Enabling women to become actors of social and economic change in Pakistan is the first objective of the Kashf Foundation, which has specialized in microfinance for over 20 years.

Pakistan remains a deeply patriarchal society where it is difficult for women to assert themselves. A fundamental transformation in attitudes is necessary, both within families and in society as a whole. This goal has been driving the Kashf Foundation’s actions for over twenty years.
 In 2017, Proparco lent $5 million to the Kashf Foundation to pursue its social action and reduce inequalities.
365,000 women have received Kashf Foundation loans

The first thing a woman does when she earns money is to invest in her family’s future. In households where women work and bring home
their own pay, nutritional intake is higher and children are two to three times more likely to go to school.

Roshaneh Zafar, fondatrice de Kashf
ROSHANEH ZAFAR, Founder of the Kashf Foundation

By financing their business ventures, Kashf provides women entrepreneurs with official recognition of their success. Their community looks at them in a different way, as positive role models.

And that encourages other women to follow in their footsteps.

Of the women micro-entrepreneurs whose projects are financed by Kashf, 20% go on to employ other
women from their community. In 2015, 8.5% of women microentrepreneurs created three jobs on average. By 2021, the project will have created and sustained 104,040 indirect jobs, a third of which will be directly attributable to Proparco financing. It’s a significant contribution to the country’s development.

au Pakistan, avec la Fondation KashF - éducation fnancière
Pakistan KashF - atelier formation
Pakistan, microfinance - Irshad Bibi, femme, éleveuse
Supporting women entrepreneurs
The Foundation’s primary objective is empowering women to become agents of social and economic change in Pakistan. By lending money to Pakistan’s women entrepreneurs, the Foundation reveals their potential and enables them to grow their businesses. This in turn benefits them and their families. Kashf is the
first microfinance institution to demonstrate that a women-centered model can be successful in Pakistan.

The dairy sector provides a livelihood for nearly 8 million Pakistani households.
Women are often responsible for taking care of the family livestock. But despite their economic significance, they don’t have access to formal financial services.
Another 13.3 million working Pakistani women could benefit from customized financing that is flexible, practical and doesn’t lead to over-indebtedness.

The model adopted by the Kashf Foundation is that of progressive loans. The system is simple: clients who have repaid their initial loan of around 45,000 rupees (about 340 euros) are then eligible for a repeat loan of a higher amount,
creating a virtuous cycle where renewed investment capacity contributes to the sustainable growth and stability of their business. Repeat loans are requested
by 70% of the Foundation’s microfinance clients.
Pakistan KashF - microfinance - femme
Improving living standards
"After meeting some of the women who had received Kashf Foundation loans, I decided that I also wanted to take up this opportunity."

Irshad Bibi, age 45, is the mother of five children. Her husband works
alongside her. An initial loan of 50,000 rupees (approximately 360
euros) enabled her to purchase a few cows. Her life has improved
markedly since then: her children now go to school and she and her husband have built their own house. They now own seven cows and hope one day to have a full herd of around fifty.
Pakistan KashF - microfinance - femme et sa cliente
Supporting her family
"My husband and children have been supportive from the outset, but other family members tried to discourage me, saying that it’s not appropriate for a woman to start her own business. But better to work than to beg! "

When the husband of Iram Hafiz (age 38) fell ill and had to stop working, she came up with the idea of buying clothes at the market and reselling them door-to-door. On the advice of a friend, she contacted the Kashf Foundation and applied for a loan. An initial 50,000 rupees (about 360 euros) enabled her
to set up and develop her own business. Her earnings have paid for her husband’s medical care, and she has been able to enroll her children in a good
Pakistan KashF - microfinance - couturière 2
Becoming financially independent
"People said that I shouldn’t work like a man and warned me my husband would become lazy. I always replied that women are just as capable as men. Women who have been confined to the home and tied to their chores must take charge of their lives."

Over the last 15 years, Hina Kausar, age 35, has received three loans from the Kashf Foundation to expand her seamstress business. She’s well on the way to opening her own workshop and is dedicated to helping her children succeed in their studies.
Pakistan, microfinance - Rahim Bibi, femme commerçante et sa cliente
Providing better educational opportunities
"My father stopped talking to me for a month when I told him I wanted to work before getting married. But that didn’t put me off."

Rahim Bibi, age 40, opened her first beauty salon 20 years ago with a 15,000-rupee (110-euro) loan from the Kashf Foundation. She now runs three salons and has already paid off her third loan. She is proud of her ability to provide her children with a good education.

Meet a few clients of the Kashf Foundation in Pakistan