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FINCA enters into a strategic partnership with Karandaaz Pakistan to launch ‘Women Community Mobilizer’ program

Lahore | Apr 20, 2018

FINCA, one of the leading micro-finance banks, has announced a strategic partnership with Karandaaz Pakistan, a non-profit finance generating organization for small businesses and individual’s financial inclusion. The first of its kind initiative between Karandaaz and a DFSP (Digital Financial Services Provider) – SimSim, will enable a new way of digital financial services in Pakistan.

The yearlong partnership is aimed at developing and rolling out digital financial services targeting a specific market group of economically low income active women engaged in some form of trade such as cottage industry, factory work etc. This not only encouraged them to adopt advanced technology while availing a digital marketplace/e-commerce but also promote local goods/services through SimSim mobile-wallet and integrated platforms.

The program is being launched through a grant from Karandaaz Pakistan for developing specific use cases and products to encourage and promote financial inclusion for women in marginalized economic segments. This partnership also aims to encourage financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology-enabled digital solutions and access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized businesses through a commercially directed investment platform. Karandaaz has financial and institutional support from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).

FINCA has always been supporting women and small and medium-sized enterprises, this exploratory grant will contribute towards collection and analysis of findings from the field to ascertain a successful business model for repeat women customers to enable a comprehensive and deeper financial inclusion of women, which determines a dollar value for an economically active woman through the defined protocols of this project.

Commenting on the venture, Mudassir Aqil, CEO of FINCA said,

We are proud to collaborate with Karandaaz on this front whereby we’ll be empowering the most powerful asset of our country; women! As per recent statistics, less than 5% of the women in Pakistan are financially included, which is an alarming figure! We therefore intend to facilitate this audience with a technology enabled digital payment solution which will ultimately help us achieve a bigger objective of a progressive Pakistan.

Adding on this occasion, Ali Sarfraz, CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan said,

Karandaaz remains committed to breaking barriers for women’s economic empowerment in Pakistan. Women face several challenges in accessing financial services such as lack of information and access to business networks, mobility, and assets. Karandaaz’s interventions are customized to overcome these challenges. I am confident that our efforts from our annual Karandaaz Women Entrepreneurship Challenge to our annual conference to deliberate on barriers to greater financial inclusion for women are all steps in the right direction and will have a lasting impact on women’s economic empowerment in the country.