Islamic Relief client awarded Citi Bank-PPAF micro- entrepreneurship award
Mian Riaz Ahmed, 48-year-old with the support of Islamic Relief’s Qard-e-Hasana (Islamic Loan Facility) has developed innovative educational interventions to educate street children and provide vocational skills to unemployed and poor women in his area as well as encouraging them to participate in income generating activities.
Mian Riaz through his sheer commitment, confidence and hard work was able to overcome many challenges and was successful in bringing positive changes in his community where he continues to be an agent of social change. Funds from the Small Scale Enterprise Development (SSED) programme CitiBank and the PPAF (Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund) provided the funds needed to purchase the equipment he needed to.
Mian Riaz runs two schools for children and one vocational training centre for youth. He accredits his success to the services he obtained from Islamic Relief and invested in his education and vocational training programmes. With the support of the SSED programme, Riaz was able to furnish his schools and purchase machines for his vocational training centre. His success can be put down to sheer hard-work and low fees has put him ahead of his competitors who focus on profit maximization. Riaz focuses on catering to the poorest of the poor by relaxing policies on fees, uniforms and even providing free books.
For a long period, Riaz from Shams Colony, suburb of Naseerabad, Rawalpindi has been trying to convince parents to send their children to school rather than to the streets for begging. He has even engaging beggar women from the streets and motivates them to leave begging by providing education in various vocational skills. He is currently trying to get support for small business development for these women so they can establish their own micro-enterprises. He is considered a social change leader in his community and well-recognised in his neighborhood.
Mian Riaz was one 20 exceptional micro-entrepreneurs selected from all over the country in a very competitive selection process for one of the CITI-PPAF Awards. The winners were selected as demonstrating the true spirit of entrepreneurship using their creative minds and independent decision making, to transform their small businesses into successful, growing enterprises. Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs was the chief guest at the ceremony where she acknowledged Islamic Relief’s efforts in microfinance as one of the tools to help eradicate poverty and strengthening communities and individuals.
Special awards were given in the four categories of: innovative business; young entrepreneur; overcoming adversity and for having a positive impact on the community. Mian Riaz received his award for the positive impact he has had on the community as not only had he established a successful business but was also helping marginalised and poor sectors of the community. Mian Riaz’s Relationship Officer Mr. Wasif Minhas also received an award.