Karachi, January 15, 2013: Following the success of the 2011/12 Coca-Cola Pakistan and Kashf Foundation partnership to promote women empowerment, Coca-Cola has extended its project appropriately titled “Women Economic Empowerment” for another year. A further grant of Rs. 9.8 million will be utilized for establishing sustainable income streams to economically empower women through microfinance.
The project intends to provide direct financial access via soft loans to 350 female clients from South Punjab and Sindh, whilst simultaneously building support networks and developing personalized entrepreneurial skills amongst the beneficiaries, to augment their business acumen. It is projected that within 2 years, these women entrepreneurs will already be seeing a 10% increase in their annual income.
Speaking about the Coca-Cola and Kashf Partnership, Rizwan U. Khan, General Manager, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Pakistan and Afghanistan stated: “At Coca-Cola we believe that women are a vital pillar of society and an integral facet for the economic development of Pakistan. The Coca-Cola and KASHF Partnership serves as a prime example of empowering women and communities to help build a sustainable tomorrow for the people of Pakistan.”
Coca-Cola and Kashf Foundation have been successfully working together by enabling women entrepreneurs’ from low income communities to get access to finance in order to grow their businesses and consequently to alleviate poverty and provide a sustainable future for their families. “Through this partnership Coca-Cola and Kashf have demonstrated that in a society where women’s economic contributions are not readily accepted, access to finance combined with business advisory services are effective measures for empowering women and enhancing their dignity and self-respect” stated Roshaneh Zafar, Founder and Managing Director, Kashf Foundation.
The Coca-Cola and KASHF partnership that commenced in 2011-12 has already benefited 350 low-income female entrepreneurs in Lahore and Karachi to set up or expand small businesses. These loans were invested in a range of business ventures, and helped these businesses increase revenues, thus resulting in enhancement of family incomes. This year, the partnership will provide financial access to another 350 beneficiaries.
Coca-Cola Pakistan is one of the leading corporate organizations with a diverse and evolving CSR portfolio. Currently their CSR strategy focuses on three core areas; Environment & Water Stewardship, Education and Women Empowerment.