Karachi: Bank Alfalah and Acumen have partnered to launch a program entitled ‘Eradicating Poverty through Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’, based on a USD 40,000 grant as part of the Bank’s CSR program. The Press Conference was addressed by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen, and Atif Bajwa, CEO, Bank Alfalah amongst others. With a view to impacting sustainable development, this may become a multi-year program, based on impact assessment at the end of the first year of the project.
As part of this program, Bank Alfalah will be providing multi-pronged support to Acumen’s investee companies, with the aim of positively impacting poverty alleviation. Bank Alfalah will be providing real time technical volunteer support in their respective areas of expertise, by conducting a needs-gap analysis for Acumen’s investee companies, as well as targeted funding for Acumen’s investee companies to address key business challenges.
The investee companies selected for this project include Pharmagen, a company which provides access to safe drinking water in urban areas; MicroDrip, a company that distributes low-cost drip irrigation technology to small-holder farmers; and SRE Solutions, which installs off-grid solar energy systems in rural communities.
Some of the potential areas of intervention in supporting these growing social enterprises include sales, marketing, technology, finance, customer relationship management and human resource management. As these social enterprises expand, the selected investee companies will be able to increase their impact on poverty alleviation by providing essential goods and services for low-income communities.
Jacqueline Novogratz said, “We are excited to partner with Bank Alfalah to support some of the most promising social enterprises in the region. This collaboration is an opportunity for shared learning around what is needed to build local businesses that serve low income customers and we are hopeful this work will translate into substantial impact for communities across Pakistan.”
Bank Alfalah’s Chief Executive Officer, Atif Bajwa said: “Bank Alfalah, through its ‘Beyond Philanthropy’ approach, has continuously attempted to strike a balance between its business objectives and its responsibility towards the communities where we live and operate.”