July 17, 2020

By Asra Haque


Barely 1% of Pakistani women are involved in entrepreneurship, in part due to the prevalence of a deeply patriarchal society that bars women from economic participation, and the lack of economic access and opportunities for women seeking to set up their own businesses. That is where Karandaaz Pakistan comes in, a company promoting financial inclusion and access to finance for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs). With the recent launch of their Women Ventures program in collaboration with the UK Department of International Development, the company aims to provide financing to small and medium-scale women entrepreneurs by entering into partnerships with co-investors to support women-owned and operated enterprises and support their market segment.

In an exclusive with Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chair of Karandaaz as well as former Governor of the State Bank and Pakistan and former Federal Minister for Finance for the caretaker government prior to the 2018 general elections, voicepk.net learns about Dr. Akhtar’s own celebrated achievements as a woman entrepreneur and leader, as well as Karandaaz’s latest initiative in creating the opportunity for economic and social uplift for Pakistani businesswomen.