LAHORE - The SMEDA and First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) decided to work together at a meeting where SMEDA briefed them on the proposal to utilize the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of banks for the promotion of SMEs.

Shafqat Sultana, President FWBL chaired the meeting and was assisted by Ms. Shagufta Alizai, Senior Technical Advisor Development FWBL Ms. Shaheen Zamir, Head of Marketing & Entrepreneurship Training FWBL  and SMEDA was represented by Zulfikar Thaver, member board of directors, Mukesh Kumar, Manager SMEDA Sindh and Mohammad Ali, Management Associate SMEDA Sindh and discussed the different business areas in which training programs could be organized for interested women.

They discussed the business opportunities in processed food, packaging, peanut butter manufacturing, herbal products, organic food, flowers, handicrafts, stitching, canteen & stationery shops, glass painting and running tuitions classes.

It was decided that businesses need to be short listed keeping in mind the current market demands and opportunities. It was further agreed that for each short listed business, a pre-feasibility study would be carried out.

It was agreed that after preparing the pre-feasibilities for the short listed businesses, trainings will be conducted for women in order to increase their knowledge about these businesses. These trainings will be conducted through cooperation between SMEDA and FWBL.

The representatives from FWBL insisted that efforts should be made to bring other agencies, who are also involved in the promotion of SMEs such as IFC and UNDP, in partnership with SMEDA and FWBL to collaborate in trainings.

The President FWBL expressed her desire to sign the MoU between SMEDA and FWBL as soon as possible so that the planned activities can come to fruition.