Karachi, 19th September 2011
The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Pakistan today announced its partnership with KASHF Foundation, one of Pakistan’s largest microfinance institutions, to provide financial access to 350 female entrepreneurs. Under the partnership, Coca-Cola has provided Rs. 8.6 million to be sued for providing loans to 350 economically disadvantaged women-led households. The loans will enable the women build up businesses such as small grocery stores, garment and handicrafts production, thus increasing their income by 20 per cent.
The scheme will not only financially assist some of the country’s lowest-income households, but will enhance women’s economic role and decision making capacity. Financial literacy trainings will be given before each disbursement to ensure that loans have a positive impact on the economic capability of the women.
Rizwan U. Khan, General Manager, Pakistan & Afghanistan, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation said, “We realise the potential of women in growth and progress of Pakistan. The project aims to provide women with the opportunity to bring about lasting change for their families. We look forward to forming a long-term partnership with Kashf to further the cause of poverty alleviation and women empowerment in Pakistan.”
The Kashf Foundation was the first institution in Pakistan to demonstrate a sustainable microfinance model in the country, and currently has a total disbursement of Rs. 17.3 billion to over 1 million female clients.
Based on KASHF’s experience, the project should bring the beneficiaries’ households above the poverty line in three year time, and by 2016 allow their businesses to grow to the extent that they’ll be able to employ others in their communities.
Ms. Roshaneh Zafar, Founder and Managing Director of Kashf Foundation, said “This project represents a significant contribution towards our key mission: restoring the dignity and unleashing the potential of our people, especially our women. We are very grateful to Coca-Cola for donating funds to enable these households to escape the frustrations and deprivations of poverty.”
About The Coca-Cola Company: The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion-dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, PowerAde, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
Asst. Media Manager