Karachi, September 28, 2012:Unilever Pakistan Limited (UPL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) for providing entrepreneurial support using micro-financing model to under-privileged individuals. The MOU was signed by Ehsan Malik, Chairman & CEO UPL and Dr. Rashid Bajwa, CEO, NRSP.
Through this partnership, UPL and NRSP aim to establish a sustainable business model that will utilize mutual expertise to provide economic opportunities through self employment. The scope of the project includes a grant for enterprising but underprivileged individuals identified by NRSP to set up their shops. Working capital required to maintain minimum level of stock at the proposed shops will be through micro finance loans. The selected candidates would also benefit from entrepreneurial training covering fund management, basic sale techniques and record keeping. In the pilot phase, 50 entrepreneurs will benefit from this initiative.
At the signing ceremony held at Unilever’s office, Chairman & CEO UPL, Ehsan Malik reiterated Unilever Pakistan’s commitment to enhance the livelihood for the marginalised and underprivileged sections of society in a sustainable manner. “Through our partnership with NRSP we plan to facilitate entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Making sustainable living commonplace is at the heart of our business model and the use of micro-finance makes this model scalable as well in the future,” he added.
On this occasion CEO NRSP, Dr. Rashid Bajwa said that our aim is to harness people's potential to promote entrepreneurship. “Skill development is key to ensuring that the rural entrepreneur is able to make most of this opportunity. This is what makes this project unique. We feel that a micro-financing solution and guidance on how to run the business will empower the shop owners to improve their standard of living while becoming contributing members of the economy.”
This is one of many initiatives by Unilever to enhance livelihoods. One programme worth mentioning is the “Guddi Baji Programme” in partnership with Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) that aims to empower underprivileged women in rural areas by providing them free of cost training to become certified beauticians. To date, 150 Guddi Bajis have graduated from this programme and an additional 750 women are expected to benefit by year end.
Corporate Relations Manager
Unilever Pakistan Ltd
Fatima Jinnah Road
PO Box 220
+92-21-3 566 0062