Shehnaz is a 41-year-old married woman. She lives in the suburbs of Faisalabad City in a two bedroom house with her husband and five children. She runs a small town grocery store. Twice every month Shehnaz stocks her shop with high demand products that she books at the wholesalers on a week’s notice. She is an ambitious lady who works hard to provide for her family. Her husband works in a private office but his income is barely sufficient to meet the family’s needs. Shehnaz borrowed funds from Kashf to invest in her business five years ago when it was almost at the verge of liquidation. She worked hard in her store and eventually sales increased. Recently she has requested for another loan of PKR 40,000 to purchase sacks of rice, flour, and sugar and packs of beverages. It will enable her to improve her sales which will help her bring in more cash. Shehnaz says she wants to send her children to high school for further studies so they will never live in poverty like their mother.
About Kashf Foundation
Kashf Foundation is one of the leading microfinance providers in Pakistan, focused on expanding financial access for poor women across the country. The organization’s economic empowerment program has grown from 913 clients in 1999 to 284,653 clients as of May 2012, with a current outstanding portfolio of US$32 million.
Kashf has trained over 227,000 clients in basic financial literacy and systemized financial education since 2010, in addition to providing training in gender justice and empowerment to over 12,500 participants since 2011. This group includes clients, their husbands and adolescent boys in their communities.
Over the past 16 years, Kashf has disbursed an estimated 2 million loans. Today, it operates in 16 districts in Punjab province and 1 district in Sindh province through a network of 157 branches. It plans to open 19 new branches to cover all four of Pakistan’s provinces.