While banks have encouraged female borrowers to take out personal loans by offering lower rates on home loans, for business loans it is a different story and raising capital remains a major challenge. Respondents stated that poor credit history, business history and lack of property are the eligibility criteria they face when accessing credit from banks and NBFCs.
The survey was conducted by Indifi Technologies, a Gurgaon-based company that enables digital loans for small borrowers. “A significant volume of our loan disbursements goes to women entrepreneurs, but we are aware that there is still a significant credit gap to fill. We aim to further leverage technology and foster relevant lending partnerships to meaningfully address these challenges and make positive progress in closing the abysmal gender credit gap,” said Siddharth Mahanot, co-founder and COO, Indifi Technologies.
Of the loans disbursed by Indifi, 20% went to women-led MSMEs, of which 25% were women first-time borrowers and 25% were from small towns and villages.
The survey involving more than 250 women entrepreneurs found that obtaining capital remains the biggest challenge they face in terms of running a business, followed by managing business operations and obtaining finance. a credit period with vendors/suppliers. Expanding on these barriers further, respondents were of the opinion that starting and scaling up their business is challenging for women SMEs, with raising the required capital being the common denominator at every stage. 61% of respondents also believe that lack of experience in business and finance contributes to this.
To further support women-led MSMEs, Indifi recently partnered with Facebook on its Small Business Loan Initiative, which provides a 0.2% interest rate reduction to women-owned businesses. .
The survey received input from a diverse set of entrepreneurs at different stages of their business. The majority of respondents were between 31 and 50 years old, and a large proportion of respondents had been operating their business for 2 to 4 years.