Ruqia is a 38-year-old energetic married mother. She has had a business doing hand-embroidery for the past five years and demand for her work is strong because she is zealous with her craft. Ruqia’s embroidery patterns are very popular on her street and she is the highest income earner in her household. However, business challenges, combined with family expenditures, frustrate her nearly every day.
Ruquia is a mother of two children and must provide them with the basic necessities of life. She wants to grow her business so she has requested a loan of 25,000 Pakistani rupees (PKR) to buy large quantities of raw materials, such as threads, sequins and pearls, to meet the increasing demand. Her dream is to open 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.