LAHORE, Pakistan: 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 will not only encourage them to adopt advanced technology while availing a digital marketplace/e-commerce but would also promote local goods/services through SimSim mobile account 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. It 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 further contribute towards collection and analyses of findings directly from the field, to ascertain a successful business model for repeat women customers in order to enable a comprehensive and deeper financial inclusion of women, which determines the 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 Pakistan for supporting women entrepreneurship and encouraging their financial inclusion, which currently stands very low in Pakistan. Through this venture, FINCA will develop impactful use cases for women entrepreneur segments, aimed at boosting their business payment ecosystem via our digital financial solution, SimSim. The partnership is perfectly aligned with FINCA’s purpose of providing innovative and impactful financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures.”
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.”