Safia is a 34-year-old, vigorous, married woman with eight children. A year ago she started a hand embroidery business. She is zealous about her work and her client demand is strong. But business challenges, combined with family expenditures, frustrate her nearly every day. Her husband is a laborer with a low salary. Safia’s embroidery patterns are very popular on her street and she is the best earning resource in her household. She wants to grow her business, so she requested a loan of RS 40,000 to buy raw materials. This includes thread, sequins, and pearls in large quantities to meet the increasing demand. She shared her dream 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.