In the bustling streets of New Chakra, Rawalpindi, where the cost of living casts a harrowing shadow over the aspirations and lives of the people, Musarrat Ibrar’s story serves as a beacon of hope. Musarrat and her family found themselves at a crossroads when her husband, a government employee, struggled with providing for the family on a single income. Unwilling to stand by idly, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Encouraged by her husband’s unwavering support, Musarrat embarked on a difficult journey to start her own business from the confines of her home.
Musarrat’s entrepreneurial spirit gave her the strength to dive headfirst into her business of cosmetics and manyari. In 2019, she invested her hard-earned savings, selling her gold to raise an initial capital of Rs 100,000. Reaching out to friends, family, and neighbours, Musarrat found solace and support in the people around her. Despite the success and potential her business possessed, a major obstacle that impeded her scalability was the financial means to realize her plans. It was during this time of crisis that Musarrat first heard about Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL), a name that soon became synonymous with her journey towards prosperity.
Although intrigued by KMBL, Musarrat also found herself skeptical of the bank and how it could provide her with a loan, especially because she was not a well-established business or a tax filer. Her worries, however, were soon laid to rest when she visited the Khushhali bank branch, and the staff did not simply dismiss her because of the unconventional business setup. Rather, to her astonishment, Musarrat told us,
“The KMBL staff was able to see my business beyond the surface and recognized my passion and potential. In a banking setup that makes it hard for low-income groups to approach a bank, KMBL gave me the helping hand I needed, embracing my vision as theirs.”
Following a thorough interview process about her business model, its structure, and plans for the future, the bank was able to sanction her loans within only a week. This was a rather fruitful outcome as Musarrat remembers the loan coming through just before Eid, allowing her to stock her shop with the necessities and reap substantial profit during the festive occasion.
While her dedication allowed her to pay the first loan off well before time, she was emboldened to take a second loan, which allowed her to thrive and grow exponentially. Musarrat’s journey did not just empower her but her family. Now they live a comfortable life, as her profits allow them to cover the family expenses and other financial obligations.
Musarrat was greatly impacted by the way KMBL supported her dream. Her sentiment is a testament to microfinance banking and how they are a ray of hope for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) owners. KMBL not only provided Musarrat with a means to enhance her business but also rekindled the flames of her dreams. She exclaims,
“The KMBL staff’s diligence and sincerity have left me truly impressed. I am thankful that Khushhali Bank supported me and my business, especially at a time when banks often hesitate to help small entrepreneurs.”
Microfinance banking plays a pivotal role in empowering micro-entrepreneurs. They provide access to much-needed financial assistance, allowing individuals with limited means to kickstart or expand their businesses. Khushhali Bank’s commitment to uplifting entrepreneurs like Musarrat Ibrar showcases the transformative power of microfinance banks when they invest in an individual’s dream. Musarrat’s journey underscores the fact that behind every small business is often a bank that believes in the dreamer’s potential.