Founder & Managing Director’s Message
Dear Friends of Kashf,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Kashf Foundation’s website.
When I set out to establish Kashf Foundation, twenty two years ago in 1996, there were many people who discouraged me and did not believe in the idea of a woman focused microfinance institution. Today, two decades later, I am proud to announce that we are one of the leading microfinance institutions in the country, promoting women entrepreneurship at the micro-level and enabling more than a million poverty-stricken families across Pakistan to improve their standard of living.
Kashf’s achievement, evolution and growth speak for itself. Its exciting journey of continued success is a reflection of the promise to support, understand and effectively deliver quality products and services to women micro-entrepreneurs. It is a story of millions of women who were provided a platform to financially improve themselves and help their families progress out of poverty.
Through its consistent focus, effort and commitment, Kashf Foundation has built a sustainable system that not only provides access to finance through micro-loans but builds the individual’s capabilities and capacities via role modeling, mentoring, consulting and trainings. As we have grown into a Non-banking MF Company with a diverse portfolio of products and services, I would like to reflect back over the various achievements and milestones which included many ‘firsts’ in the industry.
- Undoubtedly, as far back as 1996 Kashf was a trend setter for it was the first specialized microfinance organization in the country with a clear focus on women micro-entrepreneurs.
- We also introduced the Grameen methodology in Pakistan for the first time, thus pushing the frontiers of financial inclusion and introducing new and affordable methodologies.
- In 2001, Kashf was the first microfinance institution to offer a credit-for-life insurance to low income households in Pakistan, which was the first foray ever by insurance companies into offering products to the bottom of the pyramid. Today, Kashf has the largest market share of micro-insurance through its micro-health insurance product and the credit for life product has become an industry practice.
- With the evolving needs of its clients, Kashf was also the first MF entity to design and develop an individual lending product for its low income segment and has also successfully introducing a credit scoring model to improve ease of access to its financial services.
- In terms of its ongoing approach, Kashf continues to invest in the entire value chain for women entrepreneurs and has designed, developed and scaled up a broad based capacity building program for its clients, focusing on financial education, business management skills and gender justice trainings.
- Keeping Kashf’s commitment to investing in girls and education, its unique and innovative education finance program, Kashf School Sarmaya, is a first of its kind that provides financial access as well as capacity building trainings to low cost private schools. This has gained widespread recognition and was awarded the European Microfinance Award in 2016.
- To create employability and entrepreneurial engagement, Kashf’s vocational training centers operate from various districts and improve the livelihoods of women, while also linking them to financial services and market based opportunities.
- Kashf continues to improve employment opportunities for young professionals across the country, and has demonstrated sound practices for managing and maintaining gender diversity across its network. Today Kashf can boast an extremely well balanced workforce with women being equally represented across all tiers.
- Kashf Foundation is the first microfinance institution in Pakistan to produce and air several awareness raising campaigns on social issues through mainstream media. The blockbuster hit Udaari outperformed all other TV shows in 2016, while the mini-series Aakhri Station received wide spread critical acclaim.
Keeping the above milestones in view, Kashf’s focus for the next 5 years is to further enhance women’s productivity across its network of branches and develop more customized solutions for its clients, while gearing to expand outreach to over 1 million female clients. The Foundation is developing strategies to grow further and tap into the unmet and unbanked rural population that have limited access to finance. We have adopted best practices for management, evaluation, as well as guidelines to further facilitate the success of each project.
I am truly thankful to those who have shared Kashf’s vision and mission and have enabled the Foundation to become as successful as it is today. I welcome you to support, volunteer or sponsor to make a greater impact to transform the lives of women in Pakistan.