Kashf Foundation earned the recognition of being the only Pakistani organization to be honored at the recently held first edition of Asia-Pacific Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Award hosted by UN Women and funded by the European Union.
These awards recognized the efforts of business leaders across the globe for their efforts in advancing gender equality based on excellence in six categories including leadership action & commitment, youth leadership, gender-inclusive workplace, gender-responsive marketplace, community & industry engagement and Covid-19 action. Over 400 entries from 17 countries were received while Kashf Foundation was the only Pakistani organization to win for its ‘Don’t let corona impact your business’ initiative in the ‘Covid-19 action’ award category.
In view of the devastating financial impact of Covid-19 on women micro-entrepreneurs from marginalized communities, the ‘Don’t let corona impact your business’ initiative, led by Kashf Foundation, offered financial and non-financial products/services to help them rebuild their business. The initiative adopted a multi-pronged strategy to support women rehabilitation in the country during this period. As a principal approach, Kashf Foundation pivoted its model to cater to the most immediate and medium to long term business needs of women micro-entrepreneurs in the country. In parallel, a response strategy was also introduced to raise awareness amongst its 500,000 women clients about the contagion and how to curb its spread. The strategy also included designing business loans and introducing a business continuity training program for women micro-entrepreneurs to enhance their business acumen and help them in rebuilding their enterprise.
Speaking about the initiative and achievement, Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director at Kashf Foundation stated, “After the onset of the pandemic, it became imperative for the organization to undertake evidence based interventions to effectively respond to the economic and social impact of Covid-19 on the marginalized communities, especially women. Under the initiative, we worked with the most vulnerable households and helped them revive their businesses not only financially, but through various trainings in the areas of business continuity as well as design and launch of products and services, which will surely have a long-lasting impact.”
Kashf Foundation is a specialized microfinance institution that aims to economically and socially uplift women micro-entrepreneurs through its suite of holistic financial and non-financial products and services, so they can become active agents of change for themselves and for their communities. To date, Kashf has empowered more than 2.8 million women micro-entrepreneurs in the country.