An economist, the founder of the Kashf Foundation, and a proponent of micro-finance programs for women in developing countries, Roshaneh Zafar has used her innovation and expertise to exponentially grow her organization over the past decade and, as a result, has helped more than a quarter million women in Pakistan. After beginning her career working for the World Bank in Islamabad, Zafar founded the Kashf Foundation in 1996. The idea behind the groundbreaking non-profit is to help low-income families in Pakistan from the bottom-up; when the earnings by the women in households increase, those households are better able to provide school supplies and healthy food for their children, who will then, in turn, grow up to be more productive adults as a result. While the idea of a micro-finance program is not revolutionary, the way Zafar has used the business model to target women in Pakistan, has been. Under Zafar's leadership, the Kashf Foundation has been ranked number 34 on Forbes' list of the 50 top MFIs in the world. A champion of women's empowerment, Zafar herself has been awarded the Tamghai Imtiaz, is an Ashoka Fellow, and has been named a Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation. Roshaneh Zafar's work for women in the Middle East has not only provided women in Pakistan the opportunity to grow their incomes, it has given them hope.
"I see positive change, political participation of women in the future, I see higher education for women, and I really want to see a world where there is social justice."
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