Dear Colleague and Friend of Kashf,
We are pleased to announce that Kashf has been selected for the Skoll Foundation award for this year. This award will enable us to provide financial access to communities in the province of Sindh and that way will help us realise our vision of “Financial services for All!”
This year's Skoll entrepreneurs include a former French businessman who is building networks to prevent the abuse of street children, two longtime environmentalists whose "Ecological Footprint" enables businesses and governments to measure their role in depleting the world's ecological assets, a community activist who helps villages in India run sustainable sanitation and clean water facilities, and a former accountant who is helping replenish the world's collapsing fish stocks with an international seafood eco-labeling and certification program.
The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship honor and provide support for organizations led by social entrepreneurs who have a demonstrated track record of pioneering social innovations and offering measurable objectives for increasing and expanding the impact of their work. The Skoll Awards are designed to advance lasting solutions to critical social challenges and recognize programs effecting positive change in six issue categories: tolerance and human rights, health, environmental sustainability, peace and security, institutional responsibility, and economic and social equity.
"The social entrepreneurship community received an unprecedented level of recognition recently when the Nobel Peace Prize committee honored one of our own as the person who most embodies the creation of lasting peace," noted Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "Muhammad Yunus' vision for leading millions out of poverty through access to small amounts of capital has paved the way for hundreds of other social entrepreneurs to marshal their creativity, courage and fortitude to become 21st century change agents. And we need them now more than ever.
"This year's awardees -- as in prior years -- all reflect the essence of a Skoll social entrepreneur: a practical innovator who creates sustainable engines at the grassroots level, putting into place the lasting means to get housing, education, health care and other critical resources to the world's impoverished and vulnerable billions," said Osberg. "They offer a model for a new kind of leader who melds the discipline of business
with the perspective of those less fortunate, and brings a tough-minded optimism to bear on the biggest challenges confronting our communities, our countries and the planet."
Each year's recipients are identified through an open competitive process that surfaces social entrepreneurs whose work has created, or has the potential to create, large-scale, transformational benefit for disadvantaged or disenfranchised populations or for society at large. The Skoll Awards will be presented by Skoll Foundation Chairman Jeff Skoll on
March 28 at the fourth annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford in England. The World Forum convenes a global community of outstanding practitioners and thought leaders in social entrepreneurship to set the future agenda for visionaries who want to transform society.
The 10 organizations receiving the 2007 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship are: Escuela Nueva Foundation, Friends-International, Global Footprint Network, Gram Vikas, Kashf Foundation, Free The Children, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Marine Stewardship Council, Verite and YouthBuild USA.
Kashf Foundation -- Kashf is a microfinance institution that offers women below the poverty line in Pakistan a way out through access to financial services. Kashf began with 15 clients in 1996 and now assists 15,000 clients, with a recovery rate of 99 percent. It delivers collateral-free microloans, savings and life insurance products through branches that become sustainable within 10 months. Thirty-five percent of its clients move out of poverty within three years.
Social Entrepreneur: Roshaneh Zafar
Grant Objective: To expand operations to 600,000 clients by 2010 in Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces.