Achieving poverty alleviation goals through microentrepreneurship
This paper discusses Muslim Aid's Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) in Pakistan, which was launched in 2007.
The program aims to help Pakistan reach the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction. It aims to contribute towards poverty alleviation through human resource development, and channelize the energies of poor people towards entrepreneurship by giving them access to financial services through interest-free microfinance. The program comprises two components:
Qarde Hasana, which provides interest-free microloans to microentrepreneurs to enhance existing enterprises or establish new microenterprises;
Murabaha, which is a particular kind of sale where the seller discloses its cost and profit charged thereon.
In 2009, EEP served 576 clients with a 98% recovery rate. Of this total, 319 clients were provided with Qarde Hasana, while items were purchased for 257 clients under Murabaha. There was a 61% increase in clientele in 2008-2009, due to increasing awareness of the program.