In order to expand the women’s empowerment initiative “SheMeansBusiness” to promote financial inclusion in Pakistani female-led companies, Facebook is launching a new component of the program called “Business Resilience through Financial Education (BRFE)”.
The purpose of the plan is to improve financial management skills to enhance the resilience and sustainability of Pakistani female-led small businesses and media (SMEs). The plan will be implemented in cooperation with the National Bank and the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Activities (SMEA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The BRFE initiative was initiated by Lesslie Viguerie, the Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Islamabad, and Ms. Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Pakistan in the official virtual event.
Several senior government officials and representatives from Facebook, the Chamber of Commerce, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Commerce, and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) attended the event.
Beth Ann Lim of SheMeansBusiness explained that the program is being carried out in 21 countries/regions around the world, including Pakistan. Facebook and its partners have trained more than 1 million women around the world to master digital skills.
Beth An Lim said: “Financial knowledge is critical to the sustainability of women-led companies in Pakistan and elsewhere. SheMeansBusiness reflects Facebook’s long-term commitment to supporting women’s economic development in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on women Leading corporate sustainability.”
Facebook and SMEA have piloted BRFE and implemented the SheMeansBusiness program in Pakistan since May 2020 to improve the digital marketing and financial knowledge and skills of female entrepreneurs across the country.
Sima Kamil praised the efforts made by Facebook and other organizations to improve the socio-economic of women in the country and said: “It is vital that women lead small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their skills and obtain financing. He said that initiatives like BRFE will enable Pakistani women and enhance their influence on the nation-building process.”
At the same time, the virtual event also included two-panel discussions. One is a representative of the Ministry of Commerce, the National Bank of Pakistan, and the United States Agency for International Development, and the other is a graduate of the BRFE pilot project.
Panelists discussed the importance of financial management skills for female SMEs, paying particular attention to challenges and opportunities, and exchanged ideas on how to promote women’s financial inclusion by overcoming existing barriers.