Ms. Allah-Rakhi is 52 years old, a vigorous married woman. She has been doing a business of hand-embroidery for the past five 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 the bread earner, but he does not earn enough to support his family well.
Allah-Rakhi’s embroidery patterns are very popular on her street, and she is the best earning resource in her household. She is a mother of six children. She wants to grow her business. She requested a loan of Rs 25,000 from Kashf Foundation, to buy materials such as thread, sequins and pearls in large quantities to meet with the increasing demand. She is in her 7th loan cycle.
She shared her dream of running a training center for girls in her village. She would teach embroidery skills, so they can help her expand her business, and also earn money for themselves. She is also interested in opening her own shop in the market to display her work.
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.