Naveed Ahmad Khan
The Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA), delivered in partnership by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Citi Foundation the philanthropic arm of Citibank N.A., Pakistan, announced the national winners of the 12th Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards.
The Honourable Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Tariq Bajwa, was the chief guest at the event. NaseemMaseeh from Karachi and Sanobar from Hyderabad were the national winners for the 12th CMA.
Naseemis the owner of a stitching center, earns PKR 50,000- 60,000 per month, and has trained more than 5,000 girls in his center. Naseem is physically disabled but he never lost hope and was encouraged by The First Microfinance Bank Ltd. to start his own business. Starting his business with only2-3 stitching machines and now runs a center with more than 100 machines, Naseem’s journey has been inspirational. He plans to expand his business by opening other stitching centers on large scale in other areas. Naseem says, “Disabled people generally have a hard time gaining people’s trust and acceptance. I have suffered a lot but now my life has totally changed after I was given the opportunity by The First Microfinance Bank Ltd.”
Based in a small remote community, Sanobar contributes to the local economy. Today, she is the owner of a poultry shop but she started her business from a simple cart selling chickens. She earns more than PKR 5,000 per day and plans to invest more in her business to expand it. In the beginning, Sanober was discouraged by her family members but today she supports her family and employs 6 people in her shop. She says, “I never thought that I could reach this level but this was made possible by the Khushhali Microfinance Bank Ltd. If not for this opportunity, my life would have been very different now.” Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said: “Since 2005, we have recognised 450 outstanding microentrepreneurs through the Citi-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards.