Poverty in Pakistan is traditionally seen as a rural challenge. Recent evidence suggests that urban poverty with its
high levels of unemployment/underemployment particularly the exclusion of women and youth from income-generation activities
is a serious concern for social upheaval . Inclusion of men, women and young people living in urban slums into formal labor/trade
markets and economic activities is not only a driver for economy of cities but can potentially become a multiplier for reducing
rural poverty through economic and employment linkages among urban-rural centers.
AHKRC in partnership with district leadership, NUST, RCCI and RADS is testing out Business Hub model in urban slums of Rawalpindi. The initiative aims to facilitate income generation via skills building, entrepreneurship for a low literacy audience, connecting to resources (credit, registrations, and mentorship), English and Computer classes, and marketing using digital technology. The initiative will reach nearly 50,000 women and men with information resources, create 65 women entrepreneurs, and hold 1200 classes of English and Computer literacy. The processes and outcomes will be documented to assess i) empowerment and decision making, ii) income generation, and iii) cost-benefit analysis of the intervention.