Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Nestlé Pakistan and Akhuwat have partnered to empower Nestlé’s Rural Women Sales Agents enrolled under the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).A Memorandum of Understanding was signed under which, Nestlé has provided a grant of PKR 2 million to Akhuwat to extend interest-free loans to Nestlé-affiliated BISP beneficiaries in expanding their businesses, in districts of Renala, Okara, Sheikhupura and Pindi Bhattian.
Speaking on the occasion, Freda Duplan, CEO Nestlé Pakistan, said, “Today is a big day for our Rural Women Sales Agents. The Nestlé-Akhuwat partnership will allow our Sales Agents to avail interest free micro-loan facility. It has been proven time and time again, that when women have the power to make, spend, save, and control their own money, they make gains not only for themselves but also for their families and communities.”
Nestlé’s BISP Rural Women Sales Program focuses on graduating women benefiting from BISP out-of-poverty. The program is based on Public Private Partnership thatemphasizes on creating sustainable solutions for addressing some of the key issues being faced by rural women in Pakistan such as malnutrition and lack of livelihood opportunities. It has to date graduated 500 beneficiaries and this number will increase to 5,000 in the next three to four years.
Dr Amjad Saqib, CEO Akhuwat, while sharing his views said, “We are glad to partner with Nestlé and are confident that it will enable women under Nestlé’s BISP Rural Women Sales Program scale up their entrepreneurial ventures and eventually graduate out of poverty.”
Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, said, “Our philosophy of creating shared value (CSV) is unique and a long term approach through collective action, partnerships and support of stakeholders can generate sustainable economic value, in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The Nestlé-Akhuwat partnership is a transformative collaboration which will help us build rural women as social entrepreneurs with Akhuwat over the next three years and enhance Nestlé’s BISP beneficiary base,” he added.