Invest to Earn

Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program is a collaborative partnership for poverty alleviation.

By S.G. Jilanee | December 2019

To truly achieve any breakthrough in poverty alleviation one thing has become increasingly clear: we must economically empower and invest in women. For a long time women have been the most underprivileged and discriminated strata of society not just in Pakistan, but the world over. Women can play an instrumental roles in lifting not just their families, but entire communities and eventually society as well out-of-poverty. When women decide to be the change agents, then there is no stopping them: they are truly a force to reckon with! Every woman should be able to pursue her potential, be empowered enough to make her own decisions and ultimately change her life and circumstances. However, men and women need to work together to attain this, and where men and women work together to achieve this that is when the transformation happens.

These have been some of the key findings of the Nestlé BISP Rural Women Sales Program: A project that believes poverty alleviation requires collective action. By adopting a collaborative approach this systemic partnership is focused on attaining the SDGs by delivering a potent sales force of women belonging to rural areas of Punjab and Sindh. There is no magic bullet” to women empowerment, however this program has shown that economic empowerment may lead to wider social and political empowerment. Traditionally, women of rural Pakistan have been unable to participate in any structured economic activity. This intervention, has helped these “poorest of the poor” women (who are BISP beneficiaries) get into the business of retail hence, paving the way for economic empowerment. Furthermore, this project is allowing for greater “financial inclusion”, by improving financial access for these “poorest of the poor” women.

This project was recently also presented to David Malpass (President, World Bank) on his recent visit to Pakistan in early November. He met with Nestle BISP Sales Agents and interacted with them to understand how this program is leading towards financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

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