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The country’s leading proponent of financial inclusion, Karandaaz Pakistan has launched this year’s call of its annual Women Entrepreneurship Challenge aimed at women-led businesses across Pakistan. Karandaaz will provide customized business development support as well as invest up to PKR 20 million (per business) in women-led businesses that qualify for the program and successfully demonstrate growth prospects.
Last year, under Karandaaz Women Entrepreneurship Challenge, 36 women-led small and medium businesses from across Pakistan received incubation services and 21 were selected to receive a mix of grants and quasi-equity investments from Karandaaz. This year the program targets high-potential, established women-led businesses that have an operational history of at least three years and are looking to achieve growth. Women-owned business across Pakistan that fit this criteria can apply to be part of the program. Karandaaz will undertake an assessment for each business and work with the women entrepreneurs to chalk out a growth plan.
Speaking about the programme, CEO Karandaaz Mr. Ali Sarfraz explained, “Businesswomen anywhere in the world face many more challenges than their male peers. These challenges can range from inability to access better markets to lacking the knowledge about industry certifications and standards. Difficulty in accessing finance for growth is almost always the most crucial barrier to cross for women-led businesses. Karandaaz program aims to partner with women entrepreneurs so they can overcome the challenges that are limiting their growth prospects and realize the true potential of their businesses”. Karandaaz Pakistan has a deep commitment for improving access to finance for women in Pakistan. “The annual Women Entrepreneurship Challenge is one of the many initiatives that the organization has taken to accelerate women’s economic participation and financial inclusion”, he added. The program will be accepting applications online till 10th of July 2018 through the Karandaaz Pakistan website www.karandaaz.com.pk.
Karandaaz Pakistan, is promoting financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions and access to finance for micro, small and medium businesses through a commercially directed investment platform. The company has financial and institutional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).