RubyMoon loans 100% of its net profits to women entrepreneurs in 14 developing countries.
Meet Maria Rasheed, a 24 year old young entrepreneur from Kot Khawaja Saeed in Pakistan. This is a story about loss, life, initiative and the strength found in family.
After being married for only 35 days, Marias´ husband (in the book of photos above) suddenly died of a heart attack. Soon after this devastating event, Maria found out she was pregnant. Still grieving and in shock, she decided to return to her family who were living in poverty, to join forces with her sister and start a business.
Shumaila, Marias´ sister, was at the time living in another city -Sialkot – with her husband, also struggling to make ends meet and unable to send their four children to school.
Wanting a better future for their children, Maria applied for a micro loan from lendwithcare, our charity partner, to set up a dressmaking studio based at their their parents´ home. Thanks to the loan, Maria and Shumaila were able to buy a sewing machine and pay for the electricity bill to run the machine. They have also been able to invest in special threads and laces that they need to produce the clothing. In Pakistan it is virtually impossible for poor people to access the finance they need to start a business, which is why the access to a loan and business training can be life changing, particularly for women.
The business is growing slowly as they get new and returning customers . The sisters have recently received an order for school uniforms which they hope will become a regular source of income. Their main machine is dependent on electricity, which can go out for several hours a day across Pakistan, halting the work pace. They plan to apply to another loan to purchase a manual machine so they can work at any time of day.
With the successful ongoing orders, two of Shumaila’s children are already going to school. This bodes well for the future of the family. When they take a break from studying, the children also join in and help their mother and aunt with work.
Maria and Shumailas´mother watches over the children and cares for the entire family, supporting and hopeful for the successful future of her daughters partnership.
The family comprises Maria’s parents, sister, brother and her four nieces and nephews. Shumaila’s husband continues to live in Sialkot, as he is unable to find work locally, but as the business grows the family hopes to reunite. Even though times are hard, the family enjoys a close and loving relationship and are all contributing towards the prosperity of the business.
Maria has now given birth to a healthy baby girl! We wish them all the happiness, health and blessings. You can also impact inspiring women like Maria, find your activewear piece.