‘Agripreneurs’ project empowers rural entrepreneurs in Pakistan

In Local
April 18, 2024

Standard Chartered Bank and The British Asian Trust, in collaboration with partners Shirakat and Sindh Agricultural and Forestry Workers Coordinating Organisation (SAFWCO), recently marked the successful culmination of their ‘agripreneurs’ project.

This second phase of the initiative focused on high-performing participants from the previous phase, aiming to bolster their businesses and enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

The project, which supported 700 participants with additional business growth, marketing, quality assurance, and digital literacy training, resulted in a 25% increase in their revenues. Moreover, 300 new participants were onboarded and provided with basic enterprise development training. The project targeted businesses catering to high-demand products such as chillies, vegetable and fruit drying, and fodder production in Sindh and Punjab.

Commenting on the closing event, Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Pakistan, expressed excitement about concluding the programme, stating that it aligns with the bank’s wider “futuremakers” initiative to empower the next generation to learn, earn, and grow. He highlighted the project’s role in providing a sustainable pathway for women and youth out of poverty and its contribution to supporting Pakistan’s agricultural sector.

He noted the importance of agriculture to the economy stating, “Agriculture continues to play a pivotal role for Pakistan’s economy and we are proud to play our part in supporting the renewed initiatives of the government and State Bank of Pakistan to provide sustainable economic and growth opportunities for people linked with this critical sector.”

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Kamyla Marvi, Pakistan Director of the British Asian Trust, emphasised the power of partnerships in achieving the project’s success, noting that collaboration among all stakeholders positively impacted the livelihoods of 1,000 people. She stressed that this experience will enable participants to generate sustainable incomes for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Sharing her project experience, Bilquis Tahira, Executive Director of Shirakat said, “The project has provided opportunities to rural women for increasing their income. Many participants can now do basic accounting and use digital wallets for savings and business.”

Altaf Hussain Nizamani, Executive Director of SAFWCO said, “Our project shows how powerful it is to help people and give them skills. These women not only change their own lives but also inspire others. It’s a great example of how working together can make a big difference.”

The event was attended by notable guests representing food companies, grocery chains, and restaurants.

The event provided a platform for industry leaders and female agripreneurs to establish direct links, gaining valuable insights and feedback to enhance their product quality, marketability, and growth plans.

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