Enabling access to markets for Low-Income Women

Enabling access to markets for Low-Income Women

Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala , PakistanLahore, Pakistan
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

An intervention that helps build the capacity of women entrepreneurs with regards to the value-added component of their trade, trains them on product design and packaging, and helps them access markets to sell their new better quality products.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if low-income women entrepreneurs could link to markets to earn fair prices for their products?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Low-income women in Pakistan face a dearth of econ opportunities; while microfinance has improved women’s financial access, graduation from self-employment to small-scale business units is a hurdle. It is difficult to link such businesses to proper markets because constraints on mobility necessitates access via intermediaries and reduces profitability. Also quality and design constraints restrict them to less profitable community markets.

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

Kashf Foundation will undertake a three pronged approach; (1) organize trainings of 60 entrepreneurs that want to expand their business with experts from 6 selected fields, (2) train the 60 clients on 10 different products for sale at a centrally located exhibition – these clients will be given the raw material for the products and also be paid a per-diem for the days that they spend on making the products. The clients will receive a set share of profits from the exhibition (additional to the per diem they received), and, 3) products produced by the entrepreneurs will also be marketed through online sale portals such as www.azmalo.pk.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A client has a home-based embroidery business; she sells to her neighbors who can only pay a below-market price. Since she doesn’t have enough resources (capital and human) to access markets she accepts low rates. The scale of her business restricts her ability to expand. She attends the expert training undertaken by Kashf and learns new techniques of embroidery. She is further trained on making embroidered file covers and wallets, given proper raw materials (cloth, water-proof threads, design patterns) and a daily per-diem. Her products are beautiful and sell out at the exhibition Kashf arranges. She gets many orders which she can furnish through profits from the exhibition. She also produces products for online sale through the porta.l

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

It is a new project which aims to create transformative impact for participating clients. The clients will benefit by being able to sell products in bigger markets and receive a better price for their products. They will also be able to gain skills that they can use and develop further to create higher end products.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Kashf will undertake the expert training in the future through its own staff which will reduce costs. The profit from the exhibition will be used to finance future exhibitions and cost of raw-materials for the future products. The agreement with the online portal for selling will be commission based. When the project reaches scale, Kashf will use present shopping malls/outlets to place the products.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is no other organization that is addressing this issue with this approach. There are some that help clients access markets but none that also funds the production costs for the products.
About You
Organization:
Kashf Foundation
About You
First Name

Zainab

Last Name

Saeed

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Kashf Foundation

Organization Country

, P, Lahore

Country where this project is creating social impact

, P, Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Project
Year founded
Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?

It is a new project which aims to create transformative impact for participating clients. The clients will benefit by being able to sell products in bigger markets and receive a better price for their products. They will also be able to gain skills that they can use and develop further to create higher end products.

Kashf Foundation has been working with low-income women since 1996 to help them economically empower themselves through access to financial services. Currently Kashf Foundation is training women on business development and business skills trainings through its Business Incubation Program. This program will compliment existing training and provide a direct linkage to markets for participating entrepreneurs.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Consistency in quality and ability to produce as per set timelines by the entrepreneurs may prove to be challenging. However, in the project design there will be a coordinator/monitor that will ensure regular followup on both these fronts to overcome these potential barriers. Moreover, another barrier may be learning gaps from the expert trainings by the clients. These will be overcome by ensuring a participatory training methodology and the use of adult learning methods.

Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

Once the project starts running it will be able to generate revenue through the sale of items. Using that the project will be subsumed into the existing business incubation lab program and expanded in geographically contiguous areas. Kashf currently has business incubation labs in 32 locations across Punjab and Sindh.

Sustainability
Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Kashf staff will attend the expert training along with clients and create a module which they can deliver themselves which will reduce future costs. The profit from the exhibition will be used to finance future exhibitions and cost of raw-materials for the future products. The agreement with the online portal for selling will be commission based. When the project reaches scale, Kashf will use present shopping malls/outlets to place the products.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The natural conversion rate of self employment ventures to small business is very low. Keeping this in view an intervention which helps the entrepreneur to expand her business and increase scale is very important. It is important because 1) it helps the client earn more money and 2) it helps the client create jobs for others in the community!

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

Kashf will partner with industry leaders and experts in relevant fields for the project. There will not be any institutional partnerships in this phase (i.e. the idea phase), but when the project rolls out Kashf will partner with relevant training and development organizations.

Women Powering Work
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Training and education such as skills workshops, entrepreneurship courses, apprenticeship opportunities

Does your project utilize any of the strategies below?

Group learning experiences such as hands-on learning projects, cooperatives, collectives, support groups, and more

randomness