Balqees is a 45-year-old married woman. Fifteen years ago, she started her business stitching clothes to contribute to the family income. She is well familiar with stitching techniques. She has gotten a lot of appreciation from her community. At this time, she is working hard to continually provide income for their everyday expenses. She has now requested a loan of PKR 40,000 to purchase more reels of thread and packs of buttons, zippers and lace in various colors. In this way she will be able to meet the increasing demand consistently. Her regular customers are her neighbors and the local community. Balqees hopes to grow her business and dreams of providing a better standard of living for her family members. She is in her fifth loan cycle with a good credit history.
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.