Press Release: The Kashf Foundation, founded in 1996 as Pakistan’s first specialized and women focused microfinance institution, commemorated two decades of pioneering social entrepreneurship and positively impacting the lives of over 1.7 million low-income women in Pakistan.
In celebration of their 20 years, the Kashf Foundation collaborated with Pakistan’s most iconic and indeed philanthropic fashion designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin [HSY] whereby HSY created a one of its kind 20 piece collection with each piece representing the twenty years journey of Kashf and used the handiwork of twenty Kashf clients. This collection was exhibited as an installation via an exclusive media event which was held at Escort Gardens, Johar Town Lahore.
The occasion was attended and supporting by PMNL’s MNA Marvi Memon along with stalwarts from the corporate, media and entertainment industry including Razzaq Dawood, Seema Aziz, Fakir Aijazuddin, Asim Zafar, Ali Zafar, Rizwan U Khan, Fahad Qadir, Yousuf Salahuddin, Sulaiman Ghani, Aamna Taseer, Naseer Turabi, David Gilles, Faisal Ijaz Khan, Hajeeb ur Rehman, Najam Ahmed Shah, Tahira Syed and Vaneeza Ahmad. The event was designed and managed by J&S Events.
Speaking about Kashf Foundation’s 20 years, Roshaneh Zafar, Founder and Managing Director of Kashf Foundation, said “It is in an incredible achievement for all of us at Kashf to be celebrating two decades of socially driven entrepreneurship. The real heroes in these 20 years have been our clients who have persevered against all odds; take for example the story of Asmat Zahra who used to produce school-bags for a middle-man; work was erratic and the wages were low. She decided to access Kashf capital to start a business and today she produces around 400 school-bags per week and supplies them to multiple cities, earning handsome profits through which she is financially and economically independent. Kashf has been able to set a precedent for financial independence among women, a sense of empowerment and as means to better their income and lifestyle.”
Over the past two decades, Kashf has successfully championed the case for women’s financial inclusion, and has shown that women are bankable, credit-worthy, effective business managers and sound decision-makers. At the same time, Kashf has continued to innovate on its suite of financial and non-financial services to ensure impact on the lives of women and their families. Kashf has cumulatively disbursed over 2.8 million loans amounting to over PKR 44 billion to low-income households, which have helped them set-up/expand micro-businesses to increase their incomes, savings, and standard of living. These households have also been able to create safety nets through life and health insurance, and have been able to improve their financial management and business development skills through Kashf’s capacity building trainings. Kashf has also focused on addressing community level and societal obstacles to women’s economic empowerment through a vibrant social advocacy campaign centred around social theatre, gender justice trainings, and public service messages.
HSY, Roshaneh Zafar, Jalal Salahuddin
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