Mrs Shimshad is 35 years old and a married woman. She is the mother of two children. She has had a hand-embroidery business for the past 15 years. She is passionate about her work, and client demand is strong. But business challenges, combined with family expenditures, frustrate her nearly every day. Her husband is working as a laborer, but his income is not enough to support his family well. Shimshad's embroidery designs are very popular in her community, and she is the highest-earning resource in her household.
Shimshad wants to grow her business. She requested a loan of PKR 15,000 to buy raw materials, such as spools of thread, sequins and pearls, in many different colors, to meet the increasing demand. She shared her dream of running a training center for girls in her village. She would teach them embroidery skills, so they could help her expand her business, and could earn money for themselves, as well. She aspires to save money for building a new house.
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.