Women Business Development Centre inaugurated | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Women Business Development Centre inaugurated

PESHAWAR: Women Business Development Centre (WBDC) inaugurated on Saturday.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Smeda, Yousuf Naseem Khokhar has said slow participation of women entrepreneurs in SME sector would be accelerated to enable them to play their due role in the development of the national economy.

Addressing women entrepreneurs he said that women are 50 percent of our population and 20 percent of their business is SME sector.

Provincial Chief Smeda, Javed Iqbal Khattak, Project Manager, WBDC, Nabeela Farman, Asad Kakakhel of BoK, officials of Smeda and a larger number of women entrepreneurs were present on the occasion.

CEO Smeda, Yousuf Naseem Khokhar was first top official of the authority, who visited the province during last three years.

WBDC was a project of Smeda initiated under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the promotion of the women entrepreneurship in the province. The building is provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Women Development, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the project.

He extended special thanks to the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for providing the space for a positive and good initiative. He said that WBDC, Peshawar is second of its nature after Lahore, which provides institutionalised space for the promotion of women entrepreneurship.

The successful models of WBDC Peshawar and Lahore, he said would be replicated in other cities of the country and the potential would be further promoted through establishment of linkages with commercial banks. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the missing link, he said had filled by the Bank of Khyber.

He said that establishment of the centre is beginning towards the women empowerment and expressed the hope that it would continue work with the same pace and journey started with its establishment will continue till achievement of the desired destination.

Project Manager, Nabeela Farman in her briefing on the centre said that so far they had organised several seminars and training sessions for the women entrepreneurs. Such training were need based aimed at capacity building.

The centre, she said had organised two Eid fairs on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitre and Eid-ul-Azha. Maximum business made during the fairs was Rs 2 million. The centre also rent the premises of the building for holding solo exhibitions of women entrepreneurs.

She said that the centre also plans to arrange training on kitchen gardening and sericulture, which would be held in collaboration with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agriculture University Peshawar.

Asad Kakakhel, an official of the Bank of Khyber gave presentation on the Bacha Khan Khapal Rozgar Scheme, a microfinance initiative of the provincial government. He said that the scheme has been launched with a sanctioned fund of Rs 1 billion and 30 percent share is reserved for the women entrepreneurs and two percent for special persons.

Under the scheme, skilled persons can apply for an interest free loan of Rs 20,000 to Rs 100,000 for initiating businesses. Any unemployed person between the age of 18 to 50 years can obtain loan and available on personal guarantee. He said that the loan would be issued on the no objection certificate (NoC) issued by WBDC.

Source: Business Recorder