Welcome To CSC Success Stories
 
 
Ali Rizwan; Educating the neglected gender
 

Resident of Sheikhupura district's Morranwalla village, Ali Rizwan serves as an uncrowned leader of a group of ten young men that rose beyond their societal expectations, and mobilized change at the grassroots. Striving to transform the mindsets of conservative inhabitants of their village, Ali and his team are raising important questions and offering legal assistance for facilitating girl-child education. Although it would be fair to say that Ali from a very young age felt that women were down-trodden in society by observing the treatment of his sister at the hands of their parents in comparison to him, it was not until he attended the first theatre workshop organized by Community Support Concern's enthusiastic team in Sheikhupura, that Ali Rizwan realized how he could take an active stance against the discrimination faced by women.

Through its Enhanced Women Socioeconomic Development project, CSC provided Ali and his team with essential information about skills enhancement projects for women, the issue of unregistered female births, unavailing of CNICs, misfiling of marriage contracts, and unlawful settlement of divorces. From that point onwards, Ali Rizwan has attended multiple workshops to acquire paralegal training and uses the information gained through these to tackle cases in his village.

"Ali Rizwan "

 
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Activating economic independence
 

Sumaira Shabbir generates PKR 10,000 profit on a weekly basis while staying within the boundaries of her home in Walton. Her lace designing and stitching business, launched seven years ago with CSC's easy to pay loan scheme, although started as a two-person initiative with Sumaira and her mother-in-law working on their sewing machines, has now transformed into a training center. The training center engages with dozens of girls living in the vicinity, who also work under Sumaira's guidance, earning a respectable wage for their families. Stitching the season's favorite fabric accessories like tassels, sequin-adorned ribbons, and crochet laces, each of these girls looks up to Sumaira as their inspiration.

Sumaira, in an interview with the CSC team, showcased some of her most recent products, talking with utmost pride about the delicate handicraft work that went into designing each specimen, all of which was done by hand. Her family members could not hide their pride as Sumaira narrated how, by virtue of the last loan she had received from CSC, the business was exponentially expand. She increased her production by utilizing the amount of raw material, which she procured herself from Shah Alami bazaar. With CSC's help, Sumaira was not only able to become self-sufficient, but also support her family and generate change in her community by hiring unemployed women and teaching them a skill that they could monetize to stand on their own two feet as economically independent women.

"Sumaira Shabbir "

 
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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 Mai success story "

 
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Achieving Economic Independence and Social Acceptance
 

The owner of a grocery store, popular among residents of Green-Town, Lahore, for its reliability and efficiency, Shameem is one of the handful women seen standing behind a counter laden with popular Pakistani snacks. The role of a shop-keeper is primarily associated to men, but Shameem is proudly selling products to her a growing number of customers that are coming to terms with the change she is inducing.

Now a grandmother, Shameem still maintains her economic independence and continues to be of commercial aid to her partner whose income fluctuates on a daily basis due to unpredictable demand and supply mechanisms of the market.Her transition from being a housewife, to a street-vendor riding a donkey-pulled cart through Lahore's streets, and now ultimately to a permanent asset holder, is inspiring for women of all ages and backgrounds. Her journey though the rough and tedious path of empowerment was facilitated by CSC's continuous support. She is currently on her 6th loan cycle worth PKR 150,000, earning a profit of over PKR 3,000 a day.

 

"Shameem's success story "

 
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Social Welfare Society
 

Social Welfare Society is among the various Community Based Organisation (CBOs) initiated and supported by CSC through its Enhanced Women's Socio Economic Development Project (Phase-II) in Shiekhupura, Punjab. This self-sustaining CBO is constituted of a General Body for members, who then elect an Executive Board that contributes funds for the organisation's sustainability. Social Welfare Society has organized around two key functions of Women Skills Enhancement, and Healthcare, which are enhancing female economic participation, and tackling health issues in the region.

The Women Skills Enhancement function of Social Welfare Society is a vocational training institute that has identified core competencies of the young girls in the Kot Abdul Malik locality of Sheikhupura, and are providing stitching and embroidery trainings. The courses are charged at a minimal fee, and equip aspiring young girls with necessary skills for establishing their own tailoring businesses, or acquiring employment as home-based workers for other local entrepreneurs.

"Kot Abdul Malik, Shiekhupura "

 
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Facing Struggles with Determination
 

The key success factor for Mureed Hussain has been his unswerving diligence that allowed him to establish his business despite various physical and economic hindrances. Despite having lost an arm in a workplace accident, Mureed adapted to his deteriorated situation and explored the various things that he could do in this handicapped position. Mureed's impeccable temperament did not shy away from starting small. He aligned his meager finances in setting up a tea stall, but was observant of gauging the consumption cycles. He diversified the products to include juice, milkshakes, ice cream, and fruits as well. This understanding of weather-determined demand hedged Mureed's products, ensuring that there is not bad day for customers to have one of his products. He now aims to expand his shop's operational size. He believes that having a large seating area, both indoor and outdoor, will allow him reach the optimum customizability in visitor experience, and accommodate a fairly large number of customers at the same time.

The greatest challenge faced by Mureed has been regarding his physical disability, that hindered him in doing tasks that he had been skilled in. Being an employee at a warehouse, Mureed lost his arm in a machine-inflicted workplace accident, and was laid off due to his inability to perform the same task afterwards. He was able to convince himself that despite being skilled at a different and more valuable task once, he would not shy away from performing chores that are considered less worthy by the society, for it is not the nature of the task but the will of the performer that leads to success. After initiating his business, Mureed faced problems in scaling up the operations which he required to increase profits.

 

"Mureed Hussain 's success story "

 
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Bridal Dresses that Celebrate the Future
 

Irshad's success as a microentrepreneur is her understanding of people's needs and affordability, and intelligent networking skills. These two qualities have helped Irshad establish her business of renting bridal dresses. She identified the niche in the market for bridal dresses on rent, and successfully devised an attractive alternative to buying dresses that would only to be worn once. In order to make inroads into the bridal market, Irshad has used effective networking, and marketing skills, and has not only advertised her service through banners on streets, and commercial on Catholic Channel, but also created linkages with beauty parlors and caterers that interact with potential customers. Having utilized various marketing techniques, Irshad has created a sustained demand for her dresses, and often completely rents out her entire collection.

Her business has had a very positive impact on her income, and currently she is saving a proportion of her income to update her collection of bridal dresses, for which she works with the tailors herself, ensuring high quality. Once her revenue increases as a result of more dresses being rented out, she plans to rent a small shop to serve as an outlet where brides and their families can visit and select dresses...

 

"Irshad's success story "

 
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Enriching Social Ties Through Economic Empowerment
 

Fazeelat's temperament for sustained hard work, and her strong communication skills have been useful in keeping her motivated through the nascent stages of the business and convincing the community members in developing extensive trust in her beauty services, and beautician-training program. Fazeelat upholds the belief that "a person is nothing without hard work, because achievement requires commitment". She has utilized her communication as not only an effective marketing tool, but also for engaging with and training over 10 trainees that have helped meet her costs, and 2 employees that have supported her in various tasks.

Before Fazeelat start her beauty parlor, she had to face challenges in setting up her business and making it sustainable that were two-fold; relating to her family's disparate financial standing, and to the lack of receptiveness in the neighborhood.Firstly, having being married off to person who couldn't match her parent's living standards, Fazeelat was faced with deteriorated living conditions, that were demanding of initiating a business, but not conducive for it...

 

"Fazeelat's success story "

 
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Following the Recipe of Success
 

Rout's successes as a microentrepreneur are her immaculate networking skills and presentable demeanor. These two qualities have helped Rout transcend through different stages of her microenterprise. Having started her food preparation and supply business, Rout utilized her networking skills to convince people for availing her service and grew the clientele by branching out through existing clients.

Being a Christian woman in predominantly Muslim city, Rout has faced hindrance in becoming acceptable to her prospective market. Prejudices against minority religions, especially those related to hygiene, once restricted Rout's ability to grow her clientele. However, with her networking skills, Rout was able to find channels of inclusive and accepting clients that would gauge the food prepared by Rout on its taste and presentation, and not on the religious identity of the person who prepared it. She feels that there is growing pluralism in the society, and the concern about having food prepared by a Christian woman is decreasing. While she might not realize it, Rout herself is playing a significant part in doing away with that barrier for her community's social and economic inclusion. She has formalized an effective marketing techniques, and has printed business cards that are passed on to clients for referrals, and are distributed among target areas by her son as well...

 

"Rout's successes "

 
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Breaking Tradition
 

Qurat-Ul-Ain is married to a laborer who is a daily wage earner working at different jobs around the city. It was difficult for the family to make ends meet and Qurat-Ul-Ain was constantly pressurized by her in-laws to borrow from her own family and friends. She realised that she needed to break tradition and start a business of her own. Doing so would ensure improvement in living conditions for her family and the elimination of accumulated debt. She decided to set up a small general store catering to her neighbouring residents

Setting up her own general store came with its own set of difficulties. Qurat-Ul-Ain had no prior experience in dealing with customers while old lenders began reaching out to the general store for settlement of previous debts. This meant that Qurat-Ul-Ain had no resources to replenish stocks at her store on a regular basis. Her strive to improve her living conditions brought her to CEIP. She acquired a loan which she used to restock her general store in addition to adding a wider variety of products to sell.

The loan gave her an opportunity to generate a larger revenue stream and elevate the lifestyle of her family while reducing their burden and dependence on debt. She now ensures that her monthly utility bills are paid on time and enables her to avoid late payment surcharges. She has continued to reinvest her profits back into the business to further diversify the range of products it carries. There is no other general store except hers in the immediate vicinity, so females find it easier to utilise her services rather than commuting to and from the city. She dreams of moving her general store to a bigger and better location one day.

" Qurat-Ul-Ain "

 
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