Balqees is 34 years old and mother of two children. Her husband sells crockery, but his income is not sufficient for family, so Balqees established a small general store in a corner of her home. It has been 16 years since she started her business. Her son also assists her by dealing with the customers. She believes in keeping the shop open for the maximum number of hours to deal with the maximum number of customers. People prefer to shop at her store for buying products of daily use.
Balqees has gradually improved her business with the support of Kashf Foundation. Currently she has applied for a loan of Rs 30,000 so that she can buy pulses (pulses are edible legume seeds, such as lentils, beans and chickpeas), sugar, cold drinks, etc. She has been in association with Kashf for three years and dreams to provide her children with a prosperous and bright future.
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.