Since July 2019, OeEB has been providing long-term financing of USD 10 million to Kashf Foundation ("Kashf") in Pakistan. The funds will be used to finance local micro and small-sized enterprises owned by women. With this project OeEB could realize its first transaction in Pakistan.
Kashf Foundation ("Kashf")
Southern and Eastern Asia
Financial sector / Microfinance / SME
|OeEB project volume||
USD 10 million
|Project story||Pakistan: Working towards a gender equitable society|
Founded in 1996 by Ms. Roshaneh Zafar, Kashf's mission is to support women-led microenterprises. In addition to strengthening women’s financial access, Kashf is also active in the area life and health insurance. With more than 6.5 million people insured, Kashf is the largest microfinance insurer in Pakistan. Kashf cooperates among others with Grameen Foundation, AusAID, Aga Khan Foundation or Women's World Banking, as well as reputable companies, such as OMV (as part of the "Women's Empowerment Program").
Pakistan has a lot of catching up to do in terms of equal rights for men and women. The country ranks 148th out of 149 listed countries on the Global Gender Gap Index 2018. This also restricts women’s economic options and chances of success. According to a study by the State Bank of Pakistan, the ratio of men to women among all borrowers was 87% : 13%, with a total lending volume to women of around 5%. Only in the case of microfinance loans is the proportion of female borrowers higher (26%), which Kashf Foundation's activities have been contributing to.
With OeEB's credit line, the financing volume of Kashf Foundation is to be continuously expanded and, as a consequence, up to 155 further branches will be opened. In addition to stimulating the local economy, a contribution to gender equality can be made in one of the countries with the highest gender gap in the world – two core goals of OeEB.