Through a chance meeting with Muhammad Yunus, Roshaneh Zafar was inspired to quit her job and establish the Kashf Foundation. Believing that the Grameen model could help empower women both economically and socially, Roshaneh ignored warnings that a microfinance program focusing on women would not work in Pakistan. Ten years later, she has proved her critics wrong. Starting with her own family’s funds, her personal car and a volunteer workforce of five women, Roshaneh drove her colleagues to distant villages to start microfinance centers. Beginning with 15 clients in 1996, Kashf now boasts approximately 500,000 families.
IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2013:
- Kashf has disbursed $265 million.
- The organization now provides training, financial literacy and employment as well as loans.
- Economic Impact: 32% of Kashf’s clients have moved above the poverty line; households can spend 13% more on education and 22% more on health care. 85% of clients have increased monthly income by 30% annually ($27).
- Social Impact: 82% of clients mentioned gains in self confidence and self esteem thanks to the ability to plan for the future and reduced dependency on others; 40% say they had fewer domestic fights, 54% say their husbands respect them more, and 42% see a new future for their daughters.
- Financial Viability of Institution: Kashf is the first microfinance (MFI) to achieve financial sustainability in Pakistan; it’s the third largest MFI in the country, with current reach of 500,000 clients through a network of 157 branches. Forbes named Kashf a Top 50 Global Microfinance Institution in 2007 and it was also ranked 22nd among the top 100 MFIs of the World by Mix Market. Kashf has covered over 600,000 lives (the client and her spouse) through its life insurance product, which it pioneered with a local insurance company in 2000.