07/5/15

Jameel Ahmed a Barber in Chakra Goth – financially independent and upwardly mobile

Jameel Ahmed is a barber in Chakra Goth, Karachi. Jameel says that after PTP’s min-MBA and consulting program , his perception about his business has changed for the better. Before engaging with the PTP team Jameel saw little potential in his micro-enterprise; at best making ends meet, providing for daily profits of PKR 200-250 ($2 to $2.50),  post engagement  daily profits have increased to PKR 250-400 ($2.50 to $4). This increase in profits has ensured that Jameel is no longer compelled to take frequent small loans from extended family, friends and/or loan sharks. His economic success has also reflected positively on his household, Jameel has taken his children out of a sub-standard government school and enrolled them in a private school. With PTP’s assistance, Jameel is working towards further expanding his business, with the aim of owning a bigger barber shop; Jameel is also planning to increase capacity at his current shop by installing a second barber chair and taking on an apprentice; creating employment in his community.

 

For Jamee Ahmed and his family Peace Through Prosperity has demonstrably delivered:

  • Double digit revenue and profitability growth for the participants enterprise
  • Financial independence and awareness
  • Inclusion of participant’s children in mainstream education
  • Social mobility
  • Self-esteem and sense of ‘right’ amongst participants
  • Improved understanding of and appreciation civic rights and duty

Help us course correct another marginalised micro-entrepreneur’s livelihood and future prospects, get in touch.

07/5/15

 
From mending shoes under an open sky to owning a shop and holding even higher ambitions, Anwar Khan in shares his transformative journey over an 8 month period:
 

Anwar Khan Cobbler At Qayyumabad karachi from Peace Through Prosperity on Vimeo.


 

07/5/15

Testimonials from a Group Workshop – Building brighter futures

Three testimonials from participants/beneficiaries of the mini-MBA and consulting program in Urdu with English sub-titles:

1st Combine Group Work Shop Sultanabad and Hijrat Colony from Peace Through Prosperity on Vimeo.

12/20/14

1498 lives changed for the better

1498 – This is not just a number. This is the number of lives we have changed. This is the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries we have reached and positively affected. This is the number of stories we have to share. This is the number of beneficiaries whose future has been transformed. To break it down for you:

  • 214 direct beneficiaries
  • 1284 indirect beneficiaries

When Peace Through Prosperity started operations in Karachi early this year, we knew the economic-political challenges will raise walls and create blockers for our team and our project. With our determination, hard work and the trust individual beneficiaries placed in us we have succeeded in the first leg of our journey.

During a recent workshop in Qayumabad, we asked our latest batch of mini-MBAs beneficiaries to update us and each other on their progress;  their profit increased on average by 80%, fruit sellers who had one pushcart now owned two, the ones who had rented one were now the owners of their own pushcart, some saved enough to buy goats and the womenfolk in their family were now sell goats milk in the market to supplement their household income, their children were able to go to school, some are now able to afford to send their children to better schools and even private tuition. Individuals, families and communities who were stuck in poverty now have a means of their own making to gradually work their way out of poverty.

Munib, after attending the mini-MBA program, is now able to have a better set-up for his business and his identity as a vegetable seller in the market

Munib, after attending the mini-MBA program, now has a known brand in his neighbourhood as a reputable vegetable seller.

Peach Through Prosperity, till now, has worked in seven areas – Qayumabad, Sultanabad, Chakra Goth, Bilal Colony, Hijrat Colony, Korangi No.2 and Bangali Para. After the mini-MBA trainings empowering the micro entrepreneurs of these areas, workshops were held in order to increase cross communication between individuals from different neighbourhoods and communities and to share their successes and failures to peer source solutions to their challenges.

To share some narratives, Ayoub is a samosa seller with a cart in Korangi No.2. Following our mini-MBA program we put a growth plan for Ayoub, who saved enough to started another cart from Korangi Crossing, and employed a local unemployed youth to manage the second cart. Furthermore Ayoub went on to purchase a motor bike from his savings and now delivers snacks and rolls to nearby schools canteens in the mornings. What was and a micro business for Ayoub is now expanding into a full-fledge enterprise with a 100% growth in revenue and an unabated ambition to grow it further still.

Similarly, Mohammad a juice seller has been able to purchase another cart and set it up as his second juice cart and has employed his uncle to manage it, not only have Ayoub and Mohammad expanded their businesses they have created employment and prosperity in their local community.

Habib speaking to his fellow micro entrepreneurs, motivating them to work hard for a brighter future. They can make it possible, too!

Habib speaking to his fellow micro entrepreneurs, motivating them to work hard for a brighter future. They can make it possible, too!

In our workshops we also invite an inspiring personality to speak to our beneficiaries and encourage them think big. In our last workshop, we invited Habib, President of Sindh Tajir Ittehad who shared his experiences with our members narrating his own journey from a push cart  started off with a pushcart too. From there Habib went on to buy one shop and now has a number of shops in Korangi and Saddar. Something that is not beyond the reach of our beneficiaries either.

With the news of our beneficiaries successes reaching far and wide the skepticism attached with our work has greatly reduced as well. In fact, in every workshop we get a lot of people who were not a part of our mini-MBA program but want to learn to improve their lives.

It’s not just the street based entrepreneurs who have benefited but we have been working hard to address the encroachment problem too. For instance, the road from Korangi 1.5 to Korangi No.2 was blocked and it used to take around 45 minutes to reach from one point to another. The 80 ft road was only had 20 ft dedicated to traffic and the rest was occupied by carts. Now, the area is 90% cleared out which has helped the traffic to run smoothly. It has not affected the business of these vendors but has helped them as the people now walk on foot towards them and even stay there for a while since the traffic does not disturb them anymore.

All what we did for these people was to make them organized and taught them the basics of their enterprise. These people used to call their work “hawai rozi” which means daily wages jobs but we instilled in them the notion that it is their business. They have to think about profits and sales if they want to save some money at the end of the day. This change of perception ensured the paradigm shift. Not only they started believing in saving but they also put their kids in schools so that their future could not same as theirs.

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We are now reaching out to more fruit, vegetable, samosa/rolls sellers and cobblers to help improve their lives. Currently, we are working with our 213 individuals and families, and helping them in every way possible to keep up their new model of business to secure their livelihood. To know more about the change Peace Through Prosperity is bringing with our work, visit our website  or follow us on Twitter or Facebook . You can also watch more life-changing stories on our Vimeo  channel. Stay tuned and be a part of the change you want to see in your society.

06/14/14

Transforming the Landscape – Skilling up Karachi’s entrepreneurs

Peace Through Prosperity-Karachi-Entrepreneurs-2014Watching us from a distance, helping street vendors and cobblers make a better living seems pretty simple. Come close and you will realize it is not as simple as it may seem. Our intentions are pure and our method is transparent yet we were dealing with people from challenging backgrounds who have trust issues, and with good reason. We have previously run the same campaigns in KPK and received a very positive response from the participants, check that out at our Vimeo channel.

Before we ever got here we knew Karachi would be different, it’s a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures not only from within Pakistan but from across the region. Competition is fierce, time is money and money is fuel for life.

In order to ensure livelihood protection and poverty alleviation, it was important to grasp what is important for our beneficiaries and then share our ideas that can hopefully change their lives for the better. For this purpose, we started visiting various areas of Karachi and started interacting with the street vendors and cobblers. It took us days to make them understand we were friends not foe and they can trust us with their tribulations and problems. Once that trust was developed and they opened up to us, we were amazed to see the potential of these businesses and the ways they were losing out on the opportunities around them.

We will share with you our experience of visiting Qayumabad, to help paint a clear picture of the challenges and victories out field team face everyday.  Initially, the vendors refused to talk to us and fill our surveys. They were apprehensive because a couple of weeks back an NGO came into their area, got the surveys filled, took Rs200 from each, promising them a bright and better future never to returnback. We realized their hesitation and spent time with them, hoping to build some level of trust. After a while the trust developed and they started giving us information about their work and personal lives.

It did not take rocket science for us to realize that they are hardworking individuals toiling day in and day out to make ends meet. They earn reasonably well too, what they lack is the management skill that will help them further their small business into a proper established entity. By adopting a few simple steps they can fight poverty, get food security, create employment, better future for themselves, their family and communities and prevent radicalization.

The foremost reason for conducting these surveys was to enroll deserving street vendors and cobblers for Peace Through Prosperity’s mini-MBA programme that started from the 11th of June 2014. We wanted to get genuine cases who really want to improve upon their skills and make most of their micro-enterprises so that we have driven individuals on our project.

While we were in Qayumabad, we observed a fruit seller who had a couple of ‘guests’ at his pushcart. The fruit vendor served them tea and gossiped with them, preventing people from coming towards his cart. After the guests left, we asked him how much does this tea cost him and he replied around Rs150 per day. We suggested if he let go off his friends during work hours, he will get more business as a large part of women folk don’t come to him because they see some men sitting around, chatting and smoking away, which of course makes them uncomfortable.

Peace-TP-Bilal Colony Karachi_2014_05_.52.20Then we asked him if he owned the pushcart and he replied he rented it on Rs100 per day. We then asked him to save Rs100 from the money he spends on tea with his friends on a daily basis that would make up Rs3000 for the month. Since the cart is for Rs6000 or Rs7000, he will be able to buy one of his own with a couple of months. After which, he will be able to save the rental that makes another Rs3000 per month, totaling to Rs6000 of  average savings per month that can go towards improving his living standards  significantly.

Furthermore, he can even buy a couple of carts within a year and rent them to other fruit sellers. With an additional income of Rs100 per day, he will be able to send his children to school and brighten their future. He was quite amazed with this revelation and vowed he would no longer entertain his friends during work hours and follow these simple tools towards a more prosper future.

Our other observation included lack of cleanliness, for both self and workplace, no mannerism while dealing with the customers, wastage of time and unnecessary expenditure. We also met people who liked the idea of mini-MBA and were interested to know the tricks of the trade but were not willing to attend the classes.

A street vendor of over 60 years of age, filled in the survey form and showed interest but he requested that his teenage boys should be allowed to attend the classes as he was too old to grasp anything. He requested that he would like to take care of the business while his children should learn time and resource management to take it further after him. We, of course, accepted the request.

We even met kids of 13 years or 14 years old who are either the sole bread winners for their families, or jointly running the household with a parent and/or siblings. We really appreciated such young minds to come join us. They are at a very impressionable age and they will learn these things way better and faster than their older peers. The earlier they learn to secure their livelihood, the better it will be for their future.

It took our sweat  tenacity and hard work but people from different neighborhoods understood our point of view and heard us out. Places like Chakra Goth and Bilal Colony were very supportive too. Usually, outsiders are not really welcomed into these areas and are looked down with skepticism but we went there and met the right people who were glad to know that we doing some work for the micro-entrepreneurs. Usually, no one really bothers about them so it was a unique and positive step towards betterment for their area as well. With their help, a lot of people got interested in filling our survey forms and getting involved in our mini-MBA programme.

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Field research in Bilal Colony, Karachi

By no means have we confined ourselves to some areas. Our journey has just begun. We have currently engaged with micro-entrepreneurs in Qayumabad, Korangi 2, Bangali Para, Bilal Colony, Sultanabad, Hijrat Colony and Chakra Goth. We have completed a survey of 366 micro-entrepreneurs and selected around 266 individuals for our mini-MBA programme.  Once we gauge the interest, the participation and the outcome of our first venture in the 3rd most populous city in the world we will be able to extend our services and reach out to a wider audience.

For staying connected and keeping pulse on our latest updates, you can like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our Vimeo channel. Peace Through Prosperity is striving to change the face of the working class in Pakistan and you can help us reach out to more people by helping us through your contributions; simply go to our Website for donation details. We have taken the first step but we need your help to continue our journey… for a better prosperous and tolerant society. And remember if a society improves, everyone is better off!