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Micro-entrepreneurship award winners announced

The Citi, Micro entrepreneurship Awards (CMA), were announced on Tuesday in partnership by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the Citi Foundation.

Muhammad Bashir and Zakiya Bibi took microfinance loans from Soon Valley Development Programme and Rural Community Development Society respectively, two responsible finance providers, which led to their inclusion in the awards.

Winner of the National CMA Micro entrepreneurship Award – Male, Muhammad Bashir developed a scrap sales and collection business. Bashir has seen demand rise and is currently operating in Khushab, Punjab with aspirations to grow. Based in a small remote community, Bashir contributes to the local economy and employs 28 people.

Zakiya Bibi from Sheikhupura, Punjab manufactures rubber auto spare parts. Her business employs about 16 staff and has established a predominantly local supply chain.

To be eligible for the Citi – PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship awards, a business must have benefited from an affordable loan from responsible finance providers, and must have contributed to the local economic growth in the community, province or city they operate in.

Other winners include Shamshad Fatima from Muzaffargarh, in the Most Innovative category; Muhammad Amir from Narowal in Overcoming Adversity category and Hina Mustafa from Lahore in Positive Impact on Community category.

The Young Entrepreneur Award went to Muhammad Zafer, 19 years old, who bought an auto rickshaw to establish a regular livelihood and support his family.

Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF said: “Over the past 11 years, the PPAF has recognised more than 400 micro-entrepreneurs who have transformed their own lives and whose impact on their surrounding communities is remarkable, as they continue to contribute economically, create employment and most importantly, serve as inspiration to those around them. These are the people who are typically overlooked by conventional financial services and who, through microfinance, have found the means to realise their dreams.”

Nadeem Lodhi, Citi Country Officer and Citi Pakistan managing director said: “This is the 11th year of the Citi – PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards in Pakistan, and the depth and range of entries is a testament to the continued evolution of the responsible finance sector – an industry that now serves a large cross-section of the society across the country. Whether in Islamabad or in rural Balochistan, it is inspiring to see how individuals and organisations are putting their communities at the heart of their business models, so that their enterprising clients can create jobs and support more inclusive economic opportunities and growth. Congratulations to all of the winners and to those who were shortlisted.”

Staff Report. Micro-entrepreneurship award winners announced. Daily Times, April 5, 2017.

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