Women’s economic empowerment to end poverty: Queen Máxima

“The digital financial services in Pakistan like FINJA should support housewives and other women in Pakistan to set up small home-based industries and businesses,” said the Queen Maxima while talking to the small merchants during her visit to the Ghalib Market, Gulberg in the provincial metropolis.

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), Queen Máxima of the Netherlands met directly with the shopkeepers who benefited from FINJA, a Pakistani financial technology company, to learn more about how its digital financial services solutions could support financial inclusion.

She spoke about the on the importance of technology to bring diverse financial services to the excluded.

The Queen was really inspired by the success story of Muhammad Abid Islam who ran small general store in Ghalib Market. Abid told the Queen that he had been suffering from huge financial losses when he benefitted from a unique collaboration between a multinational company and a financial technology company which digitized his supply chain, credit, payments and financing services.

Queen Máxima also met with a 48-year-old housewife/beautician, Sofia Bibi, who came from very low-income family with limited education.

“I am very happy,” Queen Máxima was heard telling that “when you invest in a woman, you invest in the whole family.”

Sofia told the Queen that how she benefited from an application, Ghar Par. She shared her experience receiving her earnings on a mobile wallet and how it gave her control over her money.

The visit to Ghalib Market was part of the Queen Máxima’s three-day trip to Pakistan to support efforts to enhance access to and responsible usage of financial services that improve people’s financial and economic lives.

Briefing the Queen, Umer Munawwar said “SMEs were the backbone of any growing economy, yet their access to credit remains dismal. “Digital financial services like FINJA serve the unbanked and under-banked helping them win, compete and grow through cheaper, quicker and efficient lending solutions,” he concluded.

Speaking on the occasion, FINJA CEO Qasif Shahid said that creating financial inclusion was strongly indoctrinated in their value system and they were absolutely thrilled to share the impact being created in Pakistan with the UN Special Advocate.”