Daily The Business

Striving Pakistani Women Entrepreneurs in financial inclusion ecosystem

Women entrepreneurs of today are chartering unknown territories unabashedly and fearlessly. Be it in

ecommerce, education, retail, fitness and everything under the sun, they are proceeding with

resourcefulness and unrestrained enthusiasm to change the world around them, making a difference

with their ideas and seeking solutions that have never been sought to give rise to new sustainable

ecosystems.

With minimum to no support, women in business have proven that leading a company all by themselves

is not beyond their ken. Sakina Zulfiqar, a resilient 36 year old independent female entrepreneur from

Kasur is an established entrepreneur with a dream to keep growing. Sakina was a homemaker initially

while her husband supported the family financially. In her quest to be empowered, Sakina was

passionate to start a business of her own and add to the income of her family. Overcoming her initial

fears and hurdles, Sakina started her school in a small building with only 3 rooms available.

Growth was slow in the initial years due to non-availability of credit for investment, but Sakina’s

optimism kept her going. She came to know about micro loans from Khushhali Microfinance Bank

Limited (KMBL) offered to small businesses to invest in their assets and working capital. Regulated by

State Bank of Pakistan, KMBL is a pioneer microfinance institution which is working with the objective to

increase financial inclusion in the country and overcome access to finance challenges for marginalized

segments.

Loans from the bank enabled Sakina to improve her school. Her desire to build, create and learn,

surpassed the fear of the unknown. With the help of subsequent loans from Khushhali Microfinance

Bank, Sakina improved the infrastructure of her school and added more facilities, which brought in more

students, helping her business grow. Her school is currently offering classes till Inter and has a strength

of more than 350 students. Her school is considered as a quality educational institution in the area.

Financial inclusion helped her business to survive when opportunities seemed trifle. Financial

institutions like Khushhali Microfinance Bank have made significant progress over the last two decades

in improving access to finance for women, especially women entrepreneurs. Microfinance services have

enabled masses to access formal financial services to invest in their enterprises, improve their economic

potential and raise their family’s living standard.

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