We are a group of like-minded University friends (LUMS Alumni) who aspire to bring about positive change in the lives of ordinary Pakistanis living below the poverty line.
Following Dr. Muhammad Yunus’s (Grameen Bank) principles of Social Business and Dr. Amjad Saqib’s (Akhuwat) example of interest-free loans, we decided to work on using charity to help set-up small businesses for people so that we provide a sustainable, long term solution to the problem of poverty.
Our plan is to provide interest-free loans for the manufacture of a Cart (“Thella”- see an example below). We plan to work with corporate sponsors who are willing to partner with us and provide their wares, which will be loaded up on the cart and sold by the entrepreneur on a cash basis. The sales will help drive up revenues of the corporate sponsor, generate a living for the entrepreneur while the repayment of the interest-free loan will help to churn the program to help other needy people.
It is expected to be a win-win-win situation for the corporate sponsor (expected to increase his revenues), for the entrepreneurs (expected to provide a livelihood) and for the social business persons (will help them achieve their aspiration to do good and make a positive impact on society).
The solution that we have come up with is simple.
A Cart (“Thella” in Urdu) offers one of the simplest tools to help people get started on this form of livelihood.
As of now, we are working on our first project:
A simple ice cream cart. The cost is around Rs. 50,000 which will be given to a needy person (the entrepreneur) as an interest-free loan to fund the construction of the cart.
Prospective entrepreneurs will be identified from needy families who show the potential of hard work and a willingness to learn.
They will be provided with the initial stock of ice cream from The Gelato Treat, our first corporate sponsor who is actively working with us on this project. Once launched, it is estimated that monthly sales are expected to be around Rs.100,000.
The returns to entrepreneurs are expected to be around Rs. 20,000 per month of which he will use Rs. 2,800 per month of the proceeds to return the initial sum of the interest-free loan. Thus, over an 18 months period, the loan is expected to be repaid.
Status of the Project
Currently, the Cart design is being finalized, two vendors have been identified for the insulated fiberglass container and the bike. Concurrently, the exterior of the bike in terms of design, call-sign, logo, etc., are being worked on along with the pricing, product packaging, and routing.
Our target is to launch the product by
the end of the year 2020.
How you can get involved
Help us simplify the licensing and permits regime. Make it simpler and cheaper and less bureaucratic for the poorer people.
We need creative artists to help us design head-turning, eye-catching Carts, and other marketing material. This is your chance to make a difference in people’s lives.
Steel / Wood Fabricators
Fabrication Units who would like to provide a small part of their workshops for some creative work can contribute enormously to this initiative.
If you would like to participate in the program, you should have a CSR department within your organization that is willing to engage with us and be comfortable to offer your products for sale through this medium.
Social Business Person
If you have aspirations to participate on the social business side either through monitory participation or through helping us volunteer with your time please contact us.
+92 300 8471717
+92 300 8453900