The Citi – PPAF Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards (CMA)
The Citi – PPAF Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards (CMA): 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 Micro entrepreneurship Awards.
Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Tariq Bajwa, was the chief guest at the event. Naseem Maseeh from Karachi and Sanobar from Hyderabad were the national winners for the 12th CMA.
Naseem is the owner of a stitching center, earns Rs. 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 Rs. 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 recognized 450 outstanding micro entrepreneurs through the Citi-PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards. These micro entrepreneurs are chosen for their exceptional perseverance and hard work.
With micro-credit, they have changed their own lives and contributed to the development of their communities. The Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards program is a fantastic way to highlight best practices in micro-entrepreneurship and to raise awareness about micro-finance and its importance for a thriving economy.”
Nadeem Lodhi, Citi Country Officer & Managing Director of Citi Pakistan, said: “Like any vibrant industry, micro-finance has been evolving in Pakistan going from simple small loans to provision of complex financial products. The enabling environment created by the regulator has provided this traction and the industry has grown by reaching previously unbanked clients, new places, new management structures, and new attitudes.
Over the last 12 years, Citi Foundation, along with PPAF, has identified and supported high impact entrepreneurs whose inspiring stories can serve to motivate other people to achieve their dreams. We are proud to share that the awards have gradually expanded to include more categories than previous years to better recognize the diversity across Pakistan and the significance of financial inclusion for the marginalized.”
Tariq Bajwa said that “I would like to congratulate PPAF and the Citi Foundation for their continued support to address the multidimensional issues of poverty in the marginalized segments of the society. The SBP has been working with PPAF to lead the sustainable development of micro-finance industry in the country. This is based on a shared vision to promote inclusive growth by creating livelihood opportunities for low income segments thus enabling them to contribute effectively towards socioeconomic development of their households, communities and of course of Pakistan.”
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