Welcome To Microcredit and Enterprise Development Program

The purpose of the Microcredit and Enterprise development program is to reach the most destitute and marginalized members of society, from landless laborers, small holding agricultural producers, small traders to factory and domestic workers; CEIP ensures that the lowest classes of society, especially women, have access to opportunities and benefits of economic growth and trade. Challenges such as lack of literacy, lack of access to and control over resources in addition to a severe lack of networking can lead to dismal standards of living. For women, vulnerability to exploitation and abuse becomes dangerously apparent.

The program includes a range of services which are considered instruments that can stabilize livelihoods, broaden choices, provide start-up funds for productive investments, and subsequently help the poor to enhance their income flow. Providing supplementary services such as trainings, working through groups rather than individuals, and investing in awareness raising has shown to increase individualís direct control over resources and that is exactly what CEIP aims to achieve. The Microcredit and Enterprise Development program of CSC, now CEIP is part of our primary goal of empowering women socio-economically. The program provides women entrepreneurs with small loans, which they can use to seek business expansion opportunities that they otherwise wouldnít have been able to fund themselves. Understanding the importance of non-monetary support to develop sustainable enterprises, CEIP also provides capacity building opportunities in form of enterprise development trainings for its microcredit clients.

CEIP clients include women who are small-scale agricultural producers, livestock traders, small commercial traders, semi-skilled workers and home based craftswomen. Since 2001, CEIPís main partner for this program has been the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF). Beginning from a very small setup the program has been successfully expanded and now covers more than 140 Union Councils and 450 villages in the District of Lahore, Okara and Kasur. Over the last 6 years CEIP has disbursed more than more than 90 thousand loans worth over 4352 million rupees through its 16 branches. The Micro Credit Development program operates through a lending methodology, which includes individual as well as group lending.

Prime Ministerís Interest Free Loan Scheme

In his last address during the election campaign, the Prime Minister of Pakistan committed to bring productive micro-finance-loans to the doorsteps of the economically marginalized so that they could set-up micro-enterprises to enhance their incomes and improve their living standards. As a response, the Government of Pakistan has announced the Prime Ministerís Interest Free Loan (PMIFL) Scheme worth Rs. 3.5 Billion to support productive microenterprise activities for the poor in rural and urban areas of Pakistan. This scheme has provided marginalised communities, especially women with interest free micro-finance-loans of up to Rs. 50,000 for establishing and expanding their own enterprises.

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) shares the stateís vision and has collaborated with 120 civil society Partner Organizations (POs), including CEIP, to implement this scheme. CEIP has successfully implemented the scheme in 10 Union Councils of Dera Ghazi Khan and is proving to be an ideal integration with CEIPís existing interventions targeting livelihood development in the district under the Move Forward to Regain prosperous lives project. Under that project, CEIP has mobilized, organized and trained communities on various employability avenues through viable micro-enterprises. Due to this high need, the PMIFL scheme was welcomed and appreciated by the communities.

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