Facebook is expanding its women’s empowerment initiative, ‘SheMeansBusiness,’ to help women-led businesses in Pakistan gain financial inclusion and resiliency. The program’s new component, ‘Business Resilience through Financial Education (BRFE),’ was developed in collaboration with State Bank and the USAID Small and Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA). It aims to improve financial management abilities to help women-led small and medium businesses (SMBs) throughout the country become more resilient and sustainable
At an official event, the US Embassy Islamabad Chargé d’affaires Lesslie Viguerie and Ms. Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, virtually inaugurated BRFE, which was attended by a number of senior government officials and representatives from Facebook, Chambers of Commerce, USAID, and the Ministry of Commerce and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) in attendance.
Beth Ann Lim, Facebook’s Director of Policy Programs and Government Outreach for Asia Pacific and Global Head of SheMeansBusiness, gave the keynote speech, detailing Facebook’s ‘SheMeansBusiness’ objectives and the newly launched Business Resilience through Financial Education (BRFE) component in Pakistan and other Asia Pacific countries. ‘SheMeansBusines,’ she explained.’ is operating in 21 countries around the world, including Pakistan and more than 1 million women have been trained in digital skills worldwide by Facebook and its partners.
Facebook piloted BRFE with USAID SMEA, targeting the alumni of SheMeansBusiness digital marketing training program. The two partners have implemented the SheMeansBusiness program in Pakistan since May 2020, to enhance the digital marketing and financial literacy skills of diverse groups of female entrepreneurs from across the country.
In a video message, Chargé d’affaires Lesslie Viguerie highlighted that the US Government holds the economic empowerment of women as a key pillar of its development efforts in Pakistan and across the world and firmly believes that investing in women’s empowerment can help eradicate extreme poverty and build vibrant economies.
In her video message, the Deputy Governor State Bank Ms. Sima Kamil appreciated the efforts of Facebook and other partners for socio-economic uplift of women in Pakistan. She said it is crucial for women led small and medium businesses to achieve a degree of sustainability and resiliency through skill enhancement and access to finance. She said initiatives like BRFE will enable and empower Pakistani women to enhance their impact in the process of nation building.