Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1996
Kashf Foundation


This profile was prepared when Roshaneh Zafar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1996.
The New Idea
Roshaneh Zafar is convinced that micro-credit programs are an important tool for offering new economic opportunities to poor women in rural settings. But unlike many proponents of such programs, she is also persuaded that parallel and closely linked training and support programs have a critically important role to play in assuring the effective management of such schemes and the success of the activities that they fund.
In 1995, Roshaneh founded a new organization, the Kashf Foundation, to spearhead the development of a new model for a “full-service organization,” managed by and for women, that combines in-house, micro-scale banking and lending operations with closely integrated training and support services. The Foundation has obtained start-up funding from outside sources and is now implementing, testing, and refining programs with those characteristics in two pilot settings in rural Pakistan.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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