Ms. Shahjahan is a 51-year-old married woman. She has had a shoe-making business for the past five years. During one year, she had low capital because of many problems receiving payments on time and was unable to expand her business activities. She was afraid of taking an informal loan from relatives, so she contacted the Kashf Foundation upon the suggestion of her neighbor and gradually improved her business.
Ms. Shahjahan is an energetic person and eager to support her family by meeting her children's basic necessities, including food, health care, and education. She is also responsible for improving their standard of living. Her children help her with her business. In order to cope with the increasing demand, Ms. Shahjahan requested a loan of 20,000 Pakistani rupees (PKR) to buy raw materials such as leather, plastic leather, and soles in large quantities. This will enable her to handle the growing demand for her shoes in the market and hence to better support her family. She says that micro-finance services enabled her to improve her family's standard of living and send her kids to school.
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.