December Issue 2013
Banking on a Mission
When one thinks of the banking sector, philanthropy and altruism aren’t the first things that come to mind. However, in a welcome departure, Bank Alfalah has teamed up with Acumen to channel its efforts into a more worthy cause: a programme titled, Eradicating Poverty through Entrepreneurship in Pakistan. To launch this collaborative effort, Acumen and Alfalah held a media conference at the Sheraton Hotel, last month.
The programme aims to support projects that improve the economic conditions of the poorer communities in Pakistan. A grant of US $40,000 by Bank Alfalah will be allocated to Acumen’s investee companies such as Pharmagen, Micro-drip and SRE to enable them to complete and run their projects. Pharmagen is focused on providing safe drinking water, whilst Micro-drip helps local farmers irrigate their lands with the drip irrigation method; SRE caters to the electricity needs of the less fortunate by providing solar energy.
Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, who is no stranger to Pakistan, expressed a desire to reach out to Pakistanis through poverty alleviation efforts, in order to develop a spirit of self-sufficiency among them and break the cycle of dependency within the poorer communities.
Atif Bajwa, CEO Bank Alfalah, informed the gathering that the bank was determined to live up to its brand essence of ‘caring’ by making a significant contribution to the community through philanthropy. It intends to provide capacity-building to the investee companies who are a part of this programme that is expected to run for a year.