Through Karandaaz Pakistan, the United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID) is looking to support the growth of small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Pakistan. During a recent visit to Pakistan, the DFID Director General for Economic Development Rachel Turner attended the signing of an agreement between Karandaaz and Bank Alfalah Limited. CEO Karandaaz Pakistan Mr. Ali Sarfraz and Head of Retail at Bank Alfalah, Mr. Khurram Hussain signed the agreement.
According to the agreement, Karandaaz Pakistan will be providing a fixed grant of over PKR 63 million to Bank Alfalah Limited for Supply Chain Financing Advisory Services. This support will build the capacity of the bank to provide credit to small and medium enterprises using cutting edge financial products through especially trained teams.
Karandaaz also signed three separate agreements with three business incubators i.e. Lahore University of Management Sciences, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management, and Invest2Innovate (Pvt.) Ltd. in order to launch a country-wide program for supporting women entrepreneurship with a grant of PKR.25 million. Under this program, women owned/operated businesses enrolled in the program will be provided with training & mentorship and up to six competitively selected businesses will be provided funding of PKR.15 million each for expanding their business.
DFID Director General for Economic Development, Rachel Turner speaking on the occasion emphasized the importance of the SME sector as an engine of growth for a developing economy. She added on:
“SMEs, especially women-owned businesses, can be a driving force for the sustainable growth of an economy. United Kingdom is proud to have invested in this vital sector in Pakistan and we are confident that this investment will have long-term dividends for Pakistan’s economy”
CEO Karandaaz, Ali Sarfraz speaking on the occasion said,
“Karandaaz is committed to breaking barriers for small and medium entrepreneurs. The partnerships that we have forged today show thelarge spectrum of strategic interventions that we are making so that SMEs can build their capacities to expand and sustain their operations and also access finance for business development”
Head of Retail, Bank Alfalah – Khurram Hussain acknowledging the assistance from DFID said:
“This partnership is significant, not just to us as a bank but for the entire SME sector. this alliance is further evidence of our commitment to our customers and to the development of the sector as a whole”
Source: Karandaaz Pakistan PR