ISLAMABAD- The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) entrepreneurs project, has helped increase the incomes of 75,000 beneficiaries over the past three years.
According to press statement issued here on Wednesday, from June 2011 to August 2014, the entrepreneurs project-led strategic economic development initiatives in 26 districts across Pakistan’s four provinces to foster the development of Pakistan’s honey, medicinal and aromatic plants, hand-embellished fabrics, and dairy sectors. The project successfully increased the incomes of 75,000 beneficiaries, the majority of whom were women.
The project team worked with nine partner organizations to achieve this success. These teams included HUJRA; the National Rural Support Program; the Human Development Organization Doaba; the Society for Human and Natural Resource Development; the Trust for History, Art and Architecture of Pakistan; the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Institute; the Water, Environment and Sanitation Society; and the ENGRO and HASHOO Foundations.
Nancy Estes, Deputy Mission Director of USAID, said, “The Entrepreneurs Project exceeded all expectations by raising average monthly incomes of 75,000 beneficiaries by an incredible 147 per cent. Congratulations to the project team, the nine key facilitating partners, and private sector partners who formed business partnerships that will ensure the continuity and sustainability of the micro-businesses established.”
In addition to its work in promoting growth for small businesses, the Entrepreneurs Project also helped restore the livelihood of 45,000 people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the devastating floods of 2010.
MEDA Pakistan, an NGO, implemented the Entrepreneurs Project in Swat, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Shangla and Malakand (Batkhela, Dargai and Thana) districts with USAID support.
This initiative is just one part of a comprehensive U.S. economic growth assistance program in Pakistan which includes expanding irrigation by 200,000 acres to spur farming near Gomal Zam and Satpara dams and increasing the incomes of 250,000 farmers and female agricultural workers through training and increased acccess to market networks.