ECDI envisions an equitable society that creates space for and empowers women and the poor to realise their socioeconomic potential. As the world wakes up to the need to combat gendered responses to isolation, deprivation and inequalities, both brought about and exacerbated by Covid-19, our work continues to bring urgency to working together to build a more inclusive, gender-sensitive and sustainable, post-pandemic world
As a recognised leader in Pakistan’s Enterprise and Pro-Poor Market Development industry, ECDI aims to create an enabling environment for the economic advancement of women through SME development and advocacy for integration into mainstream markets. Our work connects women and girls to opportunity, holds space for their stories and fosters critical conversations that ensure voice, access and recognition for them.
Over the last decade, ECDI has been able to advocate for changes in the business environment in Pakistan by creating space for women microentrepreneurs, within influential business bodies such as the local Chambers of Commerce and Industries. The current focus of ECDI’s programme is to ensure that the poor are not left behind or excluded from mainstream markets. The organisation is cognizant that Medium and Small Enterprises (MSEs) need facilitation and skills to successfully operate within local, regional and international market systems, and require training, quality input supplies, technology, finance, and market information. In Pakistan, MSEs often function in market channels that target the poor as their end consumers. This may be because their products are of low quality, do not have access to transportation and other market outlets, or do not have access to technology to add value to their products. Using value chain (VC) and sub-sector or market development approaches, ECDI is working to enable women-run MSEs’ achieve competitiveness and overcome impediments to their participation in higher value markets.