ISLAMABAD -  Tariq Bajwa, governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), has said that central bank is working with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) to lead the sustainable development of microfinance industry in the country.

“This is based on a shared vision to promote inclusive growth by creating livelihood opportunities for low income segments thus enabling them to contribute effectively towards socioeconomic development of their households, communities and of course of Pakistan," said governor SBP while addressing the Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) ceremony. He congratulated PPAF and the Citi Foundation for their continued support to address the multidimensional issues of poverty in the marginalized segments of the society.

Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said: “Since 2005, we have recognised 450 outstanding microentrepreneurs through the Citi-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards. These microentrepreneurs are chosen for their exceptional perseverance and hard work. With microcredit, they have changed their own lives and contributed to the development of their communities. The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards programme is a fantastic way to highlight best practices in microentrepreneurship and to raise awareness about microfinance and its importance for a thriving economy.” 

Nadeem Lodhi, Citi Country Officer & Managing Director of Citi Pakistan, said: “Like any vibrant industry, microfinance has been evolving in Pakistan going from simple small loans to provision of complex financial products. The enabling environment created by the regulator has provided this traction and the industry has grown by reaching previously unbanked clients, new places, new management structures, and new attitudes. Over the last 12 years, Citi Foundation, along with PPAF, has identified and supported high impact entrepreneurs whose inspiring stories can serve to motivate other people to achieve their dreams. We are proud to share that the awards have gradually expanded to include more categories than previous years to better recognise the diversity across Pakistan and the significance of financial inclusion for the marginalised.”

Naseem Maseeh from Karachi and Sanobar from Hyderabad were the national winners for the 12th CMA. Other winners include Naimat from Badin in overcoming adversity; Razia Samuel from Lahore in positive impact on community and Naseem Bibi from Kot Abdul Malik in positive impact on community category. The Young Entrepreneur Award went to Sania Bibi, who drives a rickshaw to establish a regular livelihood and support her family.