Citi Foundation – PPAF honour 37 entrepreneurial champions from across Pakistan

Thardeep Microfinance Institution won award for the most innovative MFI


ISLAMABAD: Some 37 entrepreneurial champions from the rural areas of Pakistan have been honored at the 14th Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Award (CMA) ceremony, jointly hosted by the Citi Foundation and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF).

The recipients of the Awards from all geographical localities of Pakistan have shown remarkable entrepreneurial skills by availing micro-finance facility through various Financial Institutions (FIs). They have not only secured a prosperous life for their families but also emerged as role models in their respective communities.

Thardeep Microfinance Institution won the award for the most innovative Micro-finance Institution (MFI), while Telenor Microfinance Bank and the Kashf Foundation were the runner-ups in this category.

The winner for the national micro-finance (female) category is Ms Sumera Arzoo who was a borrower from the CSC Empowerment and Inclusion Programme, while Mr. Abdul Ghaffar bagged the award for national micro-finance (male) category who availed financing from Khushhali Microfinance Bank Ltd.

Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on the occasion commended all the community members who have established small businesses with the help of micro loans. In her message, she exclaimed that she was immensely happy to note that almost 60% of award winners are women.

“The State Bank of Pakistan recognizes micro-finance as an effective tool for an inclusive financial system as it gives access to those socio-economic segments, especially enterprises, who are otherwise neglected.

The SBP has enhanced the limit for micro enterprises and micro housing from 1 million to 3 million to support the financing needs of the low-income segments,” Ms Kamil added.

The Deputy Governor SBP further added that the share of women borrowers currently is just 20% and urged the MFIs to introduce gender inclusive policies. She especially commended the efforts of the Citi Foundation and PPAF for strengthening the micro-finance sector in Pakistan through these years

Ahmed Bozai, Citi Country Officer & Managing Director, Pakistan while addressing the ceremony said, “These aspiring individuals are a living testament of how hard work, perseverance, and determination can spell success, despite very little capital and resources.

Citi and the Citi Foundation are committed to support the budding entrepreneurs of the country and is proud to be associated with them.” He congratulated PPAF for successfully implementing the CMA programme in Pakistan for the last 14 years. He said, “This collaboration has laid the foundation of a flourishing micro-finance industry where new micro-finance networks have been created and more people are now accessing micro-loans for generating income and achieving self-sufficiency.”

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