Farzana Abdul Latif
Farzana Abdul Latif belongs to a lower socioeconomic background and resides in Korangi. She has acquired an education level of Grade 5 and works as a domestic help in various households.
Farzana heard about the USAID Business Incubation Program for Women Home-based Workers from the lady she was working for. She was advised to participate in the program as it promised to equip her with the right training and business acumen required to run an entrepreneurial venture. Farzana decided to get herself interviewed for the program as the future prospects seemed favorable.
Farzana knew how to cook well and used to cook for her employer, her personal family gatherings and her neighbors. Being a working woman, Farzana had to juggle between her classes, her job responsibilities and her family commitments. During that time, she would fulfill her job responsibilities on one day and attend classes the other day.
Upon joining the program, Farzana realized that it was equally helpful for women just like her to be a part of this wonderful initiative. She realized that she has a lot to learn now that she was exposed to different concepts regarding business functions such marketing, finance, operations, law etc. It gave Farzana a hope for a better future for herself and her kids by setting up a small food business that would sell Pakistan's most commonly consumed comfort food-Daal Chawal. She aims to set up a small food cart in her area with the support of her husband and son in order to help the family.
Farzana has learnt the affordable loss principle by heart and wants to begin her entrepreneurial journey by taking her first small step. She is of the opinion that being underprivileged won't hold her back against any of the challenges that now await her as she takes tiny steps towards developing her business. She aims to readily accept the challenge and pass this test for the sake of creating a better life for her children.
Before joining the program, Farzana was extremely shy but actively participated in the training sessions in the hope that it would one day help her in her business. It was the first time that Farzana stepped out of the house for her market visits where she learnt that the food offered in the market was unhygienic and lacked the use of pure ingredients. Her employer also stressed in the importance of cleanliness and hygiene practices in food preparation which helped her recognize and materialize the opportunity that lay ahead of her.
With the help of her Finance and IT skills instructor, Farzana learnt how to calculate the expenditures and revenue streams for her blooming business and also knows how to operate the computer at a basic level. Apart from the functional knowledge that she acquired, Farzana is now much more confident and is not afraid to speak up in front of a large group of audience. The support of her all-women network through this program has helped her restore faith and belief in her abilities.
Farzana grew up in a family that did not believe in educating the females of the household. Having seen the transformational change that has taken place in these 3 months, Farzana now cannot stress enough on the significance of education and dreams of providing her children with the best quality education that she can afford. Her family and children are extremely supportive of her new business as she has truly proved to them that education has the power to change lives.