Nestlé Pakistan with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) launched the Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program in 2017 to provide livelihood opportunities to BISP beneficiaries. Launched in 2008, BISP is Pakistan’s unconditional cash transfer program which provides a quarterly stipend to its beneficiaries. The main premise of the Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program was to uplift the rural women of Pakistan and put them on the path to prosperity. There is no ‘magic bullet’ to women empowerment and central to this tenet is the acknowledgment that long-term prosperity is only possible when women are provided a level playing field to achieve their potential.
To date, this program has enrolled nearly 2,800 BISP beneficiaries as Sales Agents. Nestlé Pakistan has also partnered with Akhuwat Pakistan (the largest interest-free microfinance program) to improve access to finance, disbursing micro loans to women looking to scale their businesses.
This program has shown that economic upliftment can lead to wider social empowerment. Traditionally, women of rural Pakistan have been unable to participate in any structured economic activity. This intervention has helped these women get into the business of retail hence paving the way for economic empowerment. Furthermore, this project is allowing for greater financial inclusion.
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