ABKT and the USAID Entrepreneurs Project
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT) in Islamabad on August, 11, 2014 to develop sustainable linkages with Common Facility Centers (CFCs) of KP and later CFCs of other provinces. Ms. Shad Begum, CEO of ABKT, and Dr. Daniel Lee, Acting Chief of Party of the Project, signed the MOU. Ms. Helen Loftin, Senior Vice President of MEDA, was also present at the ceremony.
ABKTand the USAID Entrepreneurs Project share a common vision of promoting hand embellished fabrics at the grass root level with lead female sales agents and fabric embellishers, the majority of whom are women. This collaboration is to reinforce efforts to realize the vision. The Entrepreneurs over the past three years has successfully registered, trained and developed market linkages of more than 10,000 women embellishers and 350 lead entrepreneurs (FSAs).
ABKT has its grass root presence in the Malakand Division facilitated with necessary infrastructure to support local communities particularly women to facilitate them in social and economic empowerment. With its similar activities operational in Malakand Division, ABKT is opening a sale point in Islamabad, brand named “Shinkhalai”, which is aimed at linking women embellishers of Malakand Division to the national and international markets, and training and updating women embellishers on modern fashion trends. The uniqueness of this intervention is that women embellishers are getting percentage of the net profit of their products, avoiding the middlemen and thus leading to their enhanced income from the labor. ABKT, therefore, is placed in a strong position to become a ‘sustainability partner’ with the Entrepreneurs project initially for KP.
Both parties have agreed jointly to collaborate and support three CFCs inKP (Batkhela, Chakdara and Fatehpur) enabling FSAs scaling up their production capacity and strengthening market linkages on sustainable basis trickling down economic up lift by increasing their income on sustainable basis.