KARACHI: The 13th Citi-PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards ceremony was held at Serena Hotel to celebrate outstanding micro-entrepreneurs across Pakistan, equip them to expand their businesses, and raise awareness of the impact of small businesses on communities and economies, a statement said.
Micro-entrepreneurs received awards in various categories. Nadeem Akhtar won the award for ‘Best National Micro-entrepreneur Male’ while Sakina Bibi won the award in the female category.
Nadeem has significantly grown his business of rural transport by making smart investments and using loans, going from living hand-to-mouth to acquiring key financial stability.
He has also provided employment to other individuals in his community. Sakina Bibi established a washing machine plant using savings and loans, and has provided for her son’s laundry shop. She began by washing clothes of neighbouring households, and now provides employment for four other individuals.
Bashir Ahmad and Aneela Abbas emerged winners in the ‘National Winners- Novice’ category. Bashir supports a household of seven people. He runs a business selling miswaq, generating employment for nine other persons.
He plans to expand his business from the local level to the international level, currently planning to start exporting to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Aneela Abbas runs a beauty salon in Layyah district.
She was initially discouraged by her local community when setting up her business. Now, she provides employment well as trainings for local women so they can run their businesses and earn for themselves.
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Citi have been actively promoting the development of microfinance in Pakistan for the past several years.
Qazi Asmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said “More than 450 exceptional micro-entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Citi-PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards. They displayed hard work and leadership qualities, changing their lives and those of their communities in the process of their work.”
“The Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards programme is a great way to raise awareness about microfinance’s benefits to economies as well as highlight best practices in the field.”
The Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards have invested in microfinance networks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) to provide steady financing and mentorship to more than 6,000 entrepreneurs worldwide.
Nadeem Lodhi, Citi country officer and managing director of Citi Pakistan said: “The Citi- PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards in Pakistan have shown great success, indicating the continuous development of the finance sector of Pakistan and demonstrating the benefits communities receive when micro-entrepreneurs are supported, whether they are in rural Kashmir or bustling Karachi.”