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Careem, LUMS launch finance

By Our Correspondent
November 02, 2023
The image shows the building of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and the logo of the Careem app. — LUMS/Careem
The image shows the building of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and the logo of the Careem app. — LUMS/Careem

LAHORE: Careem has partnered with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) to launch Asset-based Finance for Microenterprises in Pakistan for women so they become self-reliant entrepreneurs and contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.

Initially 35 women registered themselves on the Careem platform as female rickshaw Captains. This collaborative project is conducted in partnership with the University of Oxford and prominent microfinance institutions including National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Akhuwat, and Rural Community Development Programs (RCDP).

Commenting on the partnership, Jawdat Bilal, Head of Government Relations and Public Policy at Careem Pakistan said that empowering women to become rickshaw drivers perfectly aligns with the company core mission of simplifying and enhancing lives. The initiative will not only lead to economic empowerment for these women but also contribute to the creation of a more inclusive and equitable society.

Dr Kashif Zaheer Malik, Associate Professor LUMS said, “The ‘Female Rickshaw Project’ offers a range of benefits for women, including economic empowerment, financial independence and enhanced mobility. Female rickshaw drivers will make transportation safer for women and serve as inspirational role models for others. This project contributes to cultural shifts, fostering gender equity and women’s participation in the workforce and public spaces.”

The project is funded through the GEA initiative of Abdul-Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The project aims to address the challenges of gender inequality, limited employment opportunities, and safety concerns faced by women, particularly in the transportation sector.

By combining the expertise of academia and industry, this partnership strives to drive positive change in Pakistan’s workforce, also aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2023. Pakistan is currently ranked 151 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2021, highlighting significant gender disparities.

Furthermore, according to the World Bank, only 22 percent of women in Pakistan are actively participating in the labour force. Recognising the urgent need to address these disparities, the project is designed to empower women.