Facebook to expand women-empowerment through SheMeansBusiness

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ISLAMABAD: Facebook is expanding its women-empowerment focused initiative ‘SheMeansBusiness’ to bolster financial inclusion and resilience of women-led businesses in Pakistan.

The ‘SheMeansBusiness’ initiative is operating in 21 countries around the world and more than one million women have been trained in digital skills worldwide by Facebook and its partners.

Implemented in partnership with the State Bank and the USAID programme’s new component ‘Business Resilience through Financial Education (BRFE)’, it aims at improving financial management skills to enhance the resilience and sustainability of women-led small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the country.

US Chargé D’affaires Lesslie Viguerie in her video message said 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.

The event also featured two panel discussions and the panelists discussed the importance of financial management skills for women SMBs with special focus on challenges and opportunities and exchanged ideas for fostering financial inclusion of women by overcoming the existing barriers.

In her video message, Deputy Governor, State Bank 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.

Director Policy Programmes and Government Outreach for Asia Pacific at Facebook and global head of SheMeansBusiness Beth Ann Lim delivered the keynote speech.

“Financial education is crucial for sustainability of women-led businesses in Pakistan and elsewhere. SheMeansBusiness mirrors Facebook’s longterm commitment to supporting the economic development of women in the Asia-Pacific region, with a strong focus on sustainability of women-led businesses,” Ms Lim added.

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