Weaving a path to success

Haseena Mai has developed a successful microenterprise out of her hand-made fans and skull caps, based on immaculate artisanship and financial knowledge, which helped her provide high quality products and comply with all requirements of the loan schemes. She has been able to not only utilize her artisanship herself but also transfer it to her husband and kids who have helped her out with the production and selling off to market and individual customers. Her products stand out among the rest of the market, which has resulted in quick escalation of revenues for the business.

A major success factor for Haseena has been her financial understanding which always motivated her to stay at pace with the demands of the business as it expanded. She has acquired two loans from CEIP, starting with PKR 20,000 in the first cycle that started in February 2016. By maintaining liquidity cushion, Haseena had been able to add personal finances alongside the loan in setting up the business, and made regular payments which made her eligible for second loan cycle of PKR 25,000 that she utilized to expand the enterprise production capacity.

Haseena has envisioned a growth plan for her microenterprise, utilizing her artisanship at other products of necessity. She plans to include more items that will be widely demanded in her locality, and would hence fetch higher revenue from the same market. At the moment, Haseena is not collaborating with supply networks that she wishes to pursue in future. In her plan, these include market linkages for wider reach and placement at multiple points of sale such as markets nearby local mosques and areas of limited electricity access where hand-fans are used profusely.

During the course of setting up a sustainable enterprise, Haseena faced many a challenges, including lack of production capacity that she faced due to limited resources and help available to her. She could not scale up the business for higher revenue unless she made greater amounts of hand-fans and skull caps as the commodities themselves could not be sold at higher prices. Haseena tackled with this hindrance by arranging a production network around her business in the same locality. She trained some women in specific tasks involved in production of these items, and had them prepare these items at their own homes for a specific amount of commission on each unit of product. This efficient outsourcing of production line has done away the limitation of workspace and workers that she previously had, enhancing supply capacity and thereby the revenue generated from the business.

Haseena's business has had positive impact on her family by generating enough income to cover her family's sustenance needs, and enough savings for wedding off her daughter. She sensibly invested the money into her enterprise while eyeing future profit, unlike many who would have spent of immediate needs first before investing. Having made the enterprise sustainable, Haseena has been able to ensure long-term viability of her family's finances, and has integrated her husband as a contributing worker in the tasks. Having lost his eyesight in an accident at previous workplace, Haseena's husband had lost his job, but his inclusion in Haseena's business made him a contributing member of the family again.

The business also has twofold impact on the community, as it provides products of extreme necessity to the people around her, and has generated a source of income and employability for various families. In the hot Southern Punjab district of D.G.Khan, hand-fans and skull caps are absolute necessity to avoid hazards of heat, and Haseena's products are a source of solace to the community in that regard. She has also been able to integrate various households into the production of these items, for which they were trained by Haseena herself. This effort has not only provided essential skills to the members of her community, but also opened an avenue for their employability and potential initiation of business.

"Haseena Mai success story "


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