Bano is 44 years old, married and a mother of four children. She has been actively involved in the business of making handmade fancy bangles for the last 10 years. She purchases dozens of plain bangles and after embellishing them with stones and pearls, sells them to the people of her community. She is passionate about her work, and client demand is strong. But business challenges, combined with family expenditures, frustrate her nearly every day. She wants to grow her business and requested a loan of Rs 40,000 to buy dozens of bangles in various sizes and colors with some packs of pearls and stones for embellishment. She is in her fifth loan cycle with a good repayment history. She is expecting a boost in her earnings and dreams of 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.