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Realizing the role that rural women can play as change agents in uplifting communities, Nestlé Pakistan partnered with Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to empower BISP beneficiaries by providing livelihood opportunities.

The Nestlé-BISP Rural Women Sales Program, launched in 2017, encourages BISP beneficiaries to become a part of the workforce by learning skills and applying them through self-employment, with the ultimate aim of graduating out of poverty. The chosen beneficiaries undergo training and end up as microentrepreneurs – as sales agents, door-to-door retailers, or micro-distributors – selling products to their communities. This enables economic wellbeing of not just the rural women themselves but also their families. To date, this program has enrolled more than 3,000 BISP beneficiaries in as many villages across 28 districts.

To enable the beneficiaries to unlock long-term prosperity, Nestlé Pakistan partnered with Akhuwat Pakistan (the largest interest-free microfinance program), giving them PKR 4 million to be used as revolving credit for women looking to scale their businesses. This has improved access to finance and as a result, beneficiaries of this program have been able to open independent shops in their villages or expand their set up.

This program shows that it is possible to move from social protection to economic and social empowerment, enabling rural women to improve their quality of life as well as access to education and health for the entire family.

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