Queen Maxima visited Pakistan as the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. While speaking to small merchants in Ghalib market, Gulburg in Lahore she was reported to have said ‘The digital financial services in Pakistan should support housewives and other women in Pakistan to set up small home-based industries and businesses’.
She further met with shopkeepers who were involved with Pakistani financial technology companies to learn more about how digital financial services can support financial inclusion and she also emphasised the importance of technology to include various financial services.
The Queen’s inspiration comes from the story of Muhammad Abid Islam who was a small general store owner in Ghalib Market, Gulburg. Abid opened up to the Queen about the massive financial loss he had faced once he paired with a multinational company and a financial technology company which digitised his supply chain, credit, payments and financing services.
Queen Maxima also met with Sofia, a 48 year old housewife/beautician from a low income background. The Queen was reported to have said ‘when you invest in a woman, you invest in the whole family’.
Sofia explained how she benefitted from the use of a mobile wallet as it gave her more control over her earnings.
Queen Maxima visited various other mobile companies and financial services companies during her three day trip.
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