Islamabad: The Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA), delivered in partnership by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the Citi Foundation, recently named two national winners of the 11th Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards. Muhammad Bashir and Zakiya Bibi took out 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 Microentrepreneurship Award - Male, Muhammad Bashir developed a scrap sales and collection business. Bashir has seen demand for his business grow 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 Microentrepreneurship 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 Most Innovative category; Muhammad Amir from Norwal 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 & Managing Director of Citi Pakistan said:
“This is the 11th year of the Citi - PPAF Microentrepreneurship 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 organizations 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.”