Promoting Entrepreneurial Engagement Through Vocational Training

Kashf Foundation’s relationship with the Coca-Cola Foundation over the past seven years has generated many monumental investments into the economic enablement of impoverished female entrepreneurs in Pakistan. These meaningful impact investments provide Kashf access to thousands of female entrepreneurs who are interested in setting up new businesses or find employability. One of these investments last year in December 2016 included setting up of 3 vocational training centers in remote areas of Pasrur, Mundi ki Bariyian and Nokriyian Mughala.

Through the funding of USD 120,000 by Coca-Cola, the joint project successfully enabled over 300 entrepreneurs to acquire vocational skills training. The vocational training institutions carried out three month long training sessions for the low-income women of the surrounding Sialkot areas, focused mainly on beautician skills and domestic tailoring. With 6 teacher trainers and 1 supervisor, 317 women became graduates of tailoring and beautician courses over a course of 8-10 months. (3 month sessions in two batches.)

Before the project started, Kashf Foundation researched these remote areas and the report showed that most girls in these regions hardly had any education with majority not going to school or only received schooling till primary/middle grade and opportunity was extremely curtailed because of mobility. The need and implementation of vocational training was highly essential in order for these women to play a role in the local economy, gain entrepreneurial skills and train themselves to run small-scale business ventures. These women were deprived of access to resources.

“This vocational training gave me confidence to start my own business. It helped me learn a great deal about tailoring, types of materials, stitching suits and groomed my business skills immensely. I am thankful to Kashf Foundation for helping me stand on my own feet,” states Fouzia Bibi who now provides for her family of 5, including two toddlers. After the vocational program she set up a tailoring business from her home and soon, her community members gave her orders to stitch their clothes.

A graduation ceremony for the 317 vocational trainees took place at the Pasrur Vocational Centre after the programs ended in July, 2017. The ceremony was attended by Kashf Foundation’s Managing Director, Roshaneh Zafar and Fahad Qadir, Director of Public affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Pakistan. “It is a great step forward for bringing the women into the mainstream so they that may contribute significantly to the economy”, said Roshaneh.

At the ceremony, the graduates showcased their work which included school uniforms that they stitched. These uniforms will be donated to government school students.

Research has shown that vocational education trainings have a positive impact on wages, employment, mobility and employment opportunity. Vocational Education Trainings have also shown to reduce unemployment and has the potential to protect people from becoming unemployed. Kashf’s internal research has shown that complementing vocational trainings with trainings on financial management, self-actualization and self-confidence can help expand the economic benefits of the trainings to the trainees and these were conducted throughout the course.