Striving for speedy growth of women entrepreneurs
Sep 03 - 09, 2001
Zarine Aziz, President of the First Women Bank
Limited (FWBL) has disclosed that her bank has a plan to launch a new
product in the market which has been especially designed to accelerate
the pace of development of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.
Carrying a rich banking experience spread over more
than 11 years to her credit, Zarine seems to have the manners adorned
with true professional spirit, knowledge and wisdom to smooth her way
to the targets she has set in to take the bank to the new heights.
Her resolve to make the FWBL a unique organization
entirely run by the women and for the women, was reflected in her firm
tone to pave the way of success for women folk by providing an even
ground especially in the financial sector so that the women could play
their due role for revival of the national economy.
With her pleasant personality, nature is kind to
Zarine by gifting her the art of making people easy with whom she
converse and that is the quality required to make our women desired to
come-forward in the field of business so far dominated by the males in
She said that now it is the need of the hour that
women have to prove themselves as they have done in the rest of the
world for the economic development especially in the developed world.
Talking to Pakistan & Gulf Economist (PAGE),
Zarine said that the forthcoming product of FWBL would ensure speedy
disbursement of project financing especially for women entrepreneurs.
The maximum period for disbursement of loan under this programme will
be two weeks. The uncalled for procedural complexities have been
simplified to save the customers from unnecessary hassles, she
The micro-financing scheme already going in full
swing especially in the rural areas of the country in general and in
the interior of Sindh in particular is of course a success story to
the credit of the FWBL.
Zarine cited the example of the micro-financing
scheme being provided to the rural women with almost 100 per cent
recovery rate as one of the strong indicators regarding the potential
of women in our society to achieve better results in business at small
scale. She expressed the hope with a sense of confidence that the
forthcoming scheme relatively at a larger scale project financing
should also produce the similar encouraging results by the women of
the urban areas as well.
It may be mentioned that FWBL has provided
financing facilities to about 6000 women entrepreneurs out of them
some have already been established in export business also especially
in textile and leather garment sectors.
Recently 7 stalls of women entrepreneurs, sponsored
by FWBL at WEXNET Exhibition recently concluded at Karachi, were the
focus of attention to the visitors.
She regretted that despite having potential to
contribute significantly in the efforts for economic revival of the
country, the women folk representing half of the country's population
has been denied access to the opportunities.
Zarine, while appreciating the economic policies of
the present government, said that all credit goes to the government
for inducing a sense of stability in the bank by removing it from the
list of public sector organizations to be privatized. She said that
performance of the bank was adversely affected for the last four to
five years due to policy of the government for dis-investment of the
bank. The hanging sword of disinvestment causing a sense of
uncertainty among the bank staff has now been removed. The staff is
working with confidence and determination, which is reflected in the
operational results of the last 6 months. She said that deposits and
profits of the banks during past 6 months are almost equivalent to the
results of the entire preceding year.
Describing the efforts of the bank to provide a
direction to the potential women entrepreneurs, the FWBL has set up
"Business Centres" which are aimed at to lend a helping hand
to the women entrepreneurs in the form "Advisory and Consultancy
Services" in various segments of the economy. These Business
Centres are there to provide technical assistance for product
development, pricing, packaging, marketing and sale promotion of the
These centres offer all secretarial services
including facility of conference room equipped with the essentially
required facilities such as telephone, fax and e-mail etc.
The bank is also providing assistance in conducting
business management courses in collaboration with leading business
schools besides introduction of skill training programmes. All these
efforts are directed to provide a helping hand to the potential women
entrepreneurs in Pakistan.