Individual Pakistan

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Individual Pakistan

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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As microfinance has become more readily available, many women in rural and suburban areas of Pakistan have started to earn incomes, but social norms and taboos serve to restrict their access to markets. Aysha Saifuddin is creating production houses for women and providing foothold access to national and international markets by creating a shareholder company: Kaarvan.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In rural areas of Pakistan where women producers do not have access to markets, Aysha has established connections with partner citizen organizations (COs) to link them in to the world economy. Her organization, Kaarvan Crafts, helps rural and suburban women establish production houses, produce quality goods, and sell their products to uptown markets and for export. Through the development of production houses, products, and quality control mechanisms, Kaarvan Crafts provides training and advice to help rural women become appealing subcontractors for international brands. Producing consistently high-quality goods enables women producers to take advantage of the high-end market. Kaarvan Crafts has set up a distribution network that includes four self-operated retail outlets in Karachi and Lahore, and supply chains to other large retailers operating in hotels, boutiques, and malls. Aysha sees Kaarvan as the access point for women producers to reach out to markets in Dubai and Malaysia, and is creating partnerships with international brands to provide opportunities beyond Kaarvan Crafts's marketing capacities. Aysha sees these female production houses gaining economic power as they diversify to produce utility goods other than traditional handicrafts. In the next five years, Kaarvan Crafts will double the number of production houses and enter into the vibrant cotton sector, setting the lead for Pakistan's cotton goods industry.